A day after six persons were killed in a fire that broke out in a three-storey hotel and then spread to an adjacent hotel in Lucknow, police arrested two persons on Wednesday. A magisterial inquiry was also ordered by Lucknow District Magistrate (DM) Kaushal Raj Sharma.
Officiating in-charge of Naka police station, senior sub-inspector (SSI) Ashraful A Siddiqui, said they arrested Rajkumar, the security guard of Hotel SSJ Intentional, where the fire broke out, and supervisor of Hotel Viraat International, Pankaj Singh.
“The guard Rajkumar was on duty at the main gate from 9 pm on Monday to 9 am on Tuesday. However, he ran away seeing flames emanating from the basement. If he had alerted the fire department or even the control room immediately, the deaths could have been averted. He did not do his duty and ran away instead. We arrested him and the supervisor of another hotel. They were produced before the court that sent them to jail,” said Siddiqui.
Police had on Tuesday registered an FIR against owners of both hotels located near Charbagh railway station — Surendra Jaiswal of SSJ International and Arpit Jaiswal of Viraat International — unidentified staff, managers and security guards under IPC sections for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter, causing grievous hurt and others. All the accused were booked under Criminal Law Amendment (CLA) Act, police said, adding, that they are absconding.
Regarding the magisterial probe, Lucknow DM Kaushal Raj Sharma said: “The inquiry committee comprises additional city magistrate (ACM), police circle officer (CO) of the area, the chief fire officer (CFO) of Lucknow and the officials from municipal corporation, Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) and Lucknow Electricity Supply Administration (LESA). They have been directed to submit a report within a fortnight.”
“The committee will have three separate teams to conduct inquiry on all the hotels in Naka and Charbagh areas. We have also been informed that nearly all the hotels in these areas do not have the permission to run hotels. Only shops could be run on the land in these areas. The municipal corporation and LDA officials will look into that angle. The inquiry teams will also probe if the electricity load in all these hotels were within the permitted range. LESA officials will look into that aspect,” the DM added.
Sharma said that on the basis of the inquiry report, more names could be added in the FIR. Around 10 people were injured in the fire, out of which three are undergoing treatment. SP (West) Vikas Chandra Tripathi said the three patients receiving treatment at the Civil Hospital are out of danger. Rest have been discharged, he said.