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Ghatkopar tragedy: Maharashtra govt suspends IPS officer for giving approval to 'illegal' hoarding

A hoarding that collapsed in Mumbai last month claiming 17 lives was installed on a weak foundation, as per a report submitted by a technological institute to police. As many as 17 persons died and 74 others were injured in the tragic incident.

Reported By : Saket Rai Edited By : Anurag Roushan
Mumbai
Updated on: June 25, 2024 21:07 IST
Ghatkopar hoarding collapse
Image Source : PTI A huge hoarding fell on a petrol pump in the Ghatkopar area of Mumbai on May 13.

Ghatkopar hoarding collapse: More than a month after the tragic hoarding collapse in Mumbai's Ghatkopar, which resulted in the loss of 17 lives, the Maharashtra government suspended IPS officer Qaiser Khalid on Tuesday. According to the information, it was revealed through an investigation that Khalid, who was serving as the Commissioner of Government Railway Police (GRP) at the time, had authorised the installation of hoardings exceeding the prescribed size limit without notifying the Director General of Police (DGP) office.

According to information from sources, financial transactions were detected between Ego Media advertising agency, the company responsible for installing the hoarding, and Arshad Khan, a business partner of IPS officer Qaiser Khalid's wife. Although the Crime Branch has not yet traced the accounts of Khalid and his wife and no direct transactions have been linked to them so far. Senior sources within the Crime Branch revealed that approximately 10 or more accounts were used for these transactions. These accounts are reportedly linked to people from poorer backgrounds, who might have received some money in exchange for these transactions. The total amount involved is approximately Rs 46 lakh.

In this case, the Crime Branch team interrogated Arshad Khan 15 days ago, but since the investigation was still in its initial stage, they did not obtain much information. Now, with the investigation progressing, the Crime Branch is expected to send a notice to Arshad Khan for further questioning at any time, as per sources.?

Case was transferred to crime branch

Earlier on May 17, the case was transferred to the crime branch of Mumbai Police. The probe was transferred to the crime branch considering its scope, an official said. This came a day after accused Bhavesh Bhinde, director of the Ego Media advertising agency which had erected the hoarding that collapsed on a petrol pump, was sent in police custody till May 26 by a local court. Bhinde, booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder under IPC section 304, was arrested in Jaipur on May 16.

About the incident

It should be mentioned here that a massive hoarding collapsed in Mumbai's Ghatkopar area on May 13 amid strong winds where 16 people were killed and about 75 people were injured. Taking cognizance of the incident, Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde termed it 'unfortunate' and directed the concerned authorities to audit all such hoardings in Mumbai. He also announced an ex-gratia amount of Rs 5 lakh to the victims' next of kin.?

ALSO READ:?Ghatkopar hoarding collapse: Bodies of Rtd ATC manager, wife, who stopped for petrol, recovered

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