Cops yet to make headway into Make In India fire incident

  • Saurabh M Joshi, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 20, 2016 17:53 IST
The stage goes up in flames during a Make in India event at Girgaum Chowpatty on February 14. (Hindustan Times)

The DB Marg police are still struggling to find those responsible for the fire at the Make in India event at Girgaum Chowpatty in February. While the police have recorded several statements following the incident, they said the statements are contradictory with each person blaming the other for the incident.

The police are now awaiting the forensic report, which they said might give a breakthrough in the investigation. The officers added that they may file a charge sheet in the case after a fortnight. Days after the fire at the high-profile event on February 14 where several dignitaries and celebrities were present, the police registered a case against organizers Wizcraft International Entertainment Private Ltd for alleged negligence.

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) submitted a 185-page report to the police. According to the police, civic officials had spotted combustible and hazardous material that was being stored under the stage and had asked a manager from Wizcraft to remove them.

Read more: Fire at Make in India event in Mumbai: Sabotage angle to be probed

The report said the fire was caused by a short circuit owing to an electric spark from the wiring, which came in contact with the combustible material stored below the stage.

“We recorded statements of over 20 people, including those from the organising agency. They kept holding each other responsible and said they had passed on the instructions to remove combustible material from below the stage. While the organisers said they asked the workers to remove the materials, the latter said they did whatever they were asked to do,” said an officer from DB Marg police station.

Read more: Short circuit or spark? What may have caused Make in India event fire

The police had sent at least six samples from the spot for testing to the forensic laboratory following the fire. Traces of nitrate and potassium were found in the samples. It was one of the materials in the fibre that was used to make the props on the stage. The forensic experts, however, said these things could not have triggered the fire,” the officer added.

The police are now awaiting another report from the forensic laboratory, which will throw light on the possibility of pyrotechnics leading to the fire. They said action will be taken in accordance with the forensic report.

A case under sections 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter) and 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the Indian Penal Code has been registered

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