Mumbai Police on Friday filed a first information report (FIR) against the organisers for the massive fire that broke out during a cultural event at the Make In India week in the city on February 14.
Mumbai Police spokesperson Dhananjay Kulkarni confirmed the filing of FIR against event management firm Wizcraft International Entertainment saying senior police inspector Pandurang Shinde at DB Marg police station filed the complaint on behalf of the state government.
The case was filed under section 285 or negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter and also under section 336 or act endangering life or personal safety of others of the Indian Penal Code.
DB Marg police had earlier collected five crucial exhibits which were sent to the forensic sciences laboratory to ascertain if there was any foul play in the incident. They also recorded the statements of the technical staff, organisers and performers who were around the stage when the fire broke out.
A Mumbai Fire Brigade department probe report stated that wilful negligence by the organisers caused the February 14 blaze that gutted the stage at the gala Maharashtra Night event at Girguam Chowpatty.
A defective electric circuit provided the spark for the fire that spread rapidly as a lot of combustible material, including LPG cylinders, had been stored below the stage, the report said.
It accused the organisers of not following safety norms.
“In spite of repeated instructions, no heed was paid by the organisers to safety instructions. This act of organisers M/s Wizcraft International Entertainment Pvt limited shows wilful negligence/wilful flouting of the fire safety instructions.”
The 185-page investigation report submitted to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) chief Ajoy Mehta earlier this week says the fire was caused by “a short circuit i.e. electric spark from the electric wirings”, which came in contact with the combustible material stored beneath the stage.
This included curtains, wooden planks, plywood sheets, material used for pyrotechnics, LPG cylinders and tins containing paints and inflammable adhesive.
The fire broke out during the “Maharashtra Night” cultural event when some 10,000 guests including governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, and actors Amitabh Bachchan and Aamir Khan were just a few feet away from the stage at the city’s famous Girgaum Chowpaty beach. No one was hurt but the fire caused a huge financial damage.