The Delhi Police on Sunday arrested the owner of the firecracker factory in Bawana Industrial area where 17 people died a day earlier after a fire broke out in the building. Police said documents related to the ownership of the factory are yet to be seized.
Manoj Jain, the owner, had been operating the factory since January 1. Police said they apprehended him from his house on late Saturday night and booked him under sections 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter), 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC and Explosives Act at Bawana Police Station Station.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Rohini) Rajneesh Gupta said Jain had taken the building on rent of Rs 25, 000 per month, since January 1. “From the time of questioning till now, he told us that the factory was of cold firecrackers used in stage shows and Holi celebrations. The packages recovered from the site also show the same,” he said. Gupta added that as per one of the injured labourers, crackers used to come from outside and packing was done in the factory.
Another name which cropped up during the investigation was of Lalit Goyal. “As of now, Jain was the lone owner of the factory. However, his close friend and neighbour Lalit Goyal’s role is also being investigated,” Gupta said further.
Meanwhile, police said seven of the deceased have also been identified. According to a list of names released by the police, Rajjo (65), Madeena (55), Dharma Devi (45), Baby Devi (40), Afsana (35), Sonam (23) and Reeta (18) lost their lives in the fire. All are factory workers.
Police said they were still investigating the cause of the fire. As of now, it was found that most of the workers were trapped inside the three-floor unit which caused the majority of deaths.
Incidentally, the firecracker fire was the third fire incident in Bawana Industrial Area Saturday. The other fires, in separate factories, didn’t result in any casualties, said police.