Nearly three months after the ground collapse in Gujarat’s Morbi that killed 135 people, the police have issued an arrest warrant against the protagonist of Oreva Group and Ajanta Manufacturing Limited’s Managing Director Jaysukh Patel. Patel has been missing since the incident and has been named as an indicted in the soon-to-be-filed charge distance in the case.
For reasons that have since come into question, Oreva Group, a company known for making wall timepieces under the Ajanta brand, had been awarded the contract for addition, operation and conservation of the 100-time-old suspense ground over the Machchhu River. It collapsed on October 30th, four days after it restarted. The BJP government in Gujarat also faced allegations of shielding the politically influential industrialist ahead of the lately held assembly elections, which the party swept.
The Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report on the incident revealed that gravel lines, broken anchor legs, and loose bolts were among the setbacks that weren’t addressed during the addition of the ground. The report also stated that Oreva Group didn’t hire any expert agency to assess the cargo-bearing capacity of the ground before opening it to the public. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) formed by the government to probe the matter cited several setbacks on the part of Oreva Group in repairs, conservation and operation of the ground, including no restriction put on the number of persons penetrating the ground at a given point in time and no restriction on the trade of tickets, leading to unrestricted movement on the ground.
So far, nine people have been arrested in the case, including the subcontractors, diurnal pay envelope labourers who worked as ticket clerks, and security guards. Patel had filed an anticipatory bail plea in the sessions court on January 16th, stewing arrest in the case. The hail for the bail operation has been suspended till February 1st. According to the police case over the collapse, at least 250 to 300 people were present on the ground when it collapsed after one of the lines snapped. The state government has asked the original megacity to explain why it shouldn’t be dissolved for failing to discharge its duties that led to the tragedy.