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Deonar fires: Cops probe role of BMC officials, contractor

The probe into the fire on January 28 has resulted in the arrest of 13 scrapdealers.

| Mumbai | Published: April 18, 2016 1:08:46 am

After the arrest of scrapdealers in the Deonar dumping ground fire, the police will also probe the role of BMC officials and the contractor in charge of the dumping ground.

The probe into the fire on January 28 has resulted in the arrest of 13 scrapdealers. A senior officer said the repeated fires at the ground since January 28 could not have been due to the activities of scrapdealers alone.

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“The role of both BMC officials and United Phosphorus Limited, the contractor who was in charge of the dumping ground, is being probed. We are also investigating whether there was any wilful negligence on their part,” said the officer.

The fire at the Deonar dumping ground had begun two days before the termination of contract between the BMC and UPL was to come in force. The BMC had given the contract to UPL of handling, managing and treating waste at the Deonar dumping ground in 2009. The contract was terminated due to its delay in setting up treatment plants.

The police had first filed an FIR against three unidentified minors based on a complaint by a fire official who had claimed to have seen them setting fire to a heap of garbage.

Last week, the police made the first arrests in the case by booking nine persons, claiming that they used ragpickers to set fire to the garbage to make it easier to separate metal scrap from other waste. Four more scrapdealers, Firoz Rais Khan (33), Vijaykumar Krishnakumar Gupta (32), Kalam Iqbal Shaikh (44) and Sayeda Shah (46), were arrested on Saturday.

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