The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) served a notice to the district magistrate (DM) and senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Ghaziabad seeking an action-taken report over a fire in Shaheed Nagar on November 11 that left 13 persons dead.
The move comes after a public interest litigation (PIL) was filed with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) by a Shaheed Nagar resident, seeking action on four points related to a fire at an unauthorised garment factory on November 11.
The NHRC has asked for the report from both the officials within four weeks.
Around 4.30am on November 11, a short circuit triggered a massive fire at an unauthorised garment factory running in a residential area of Shaheed Nagar. As many as 17 workers in the three-storey building were sleeping on the second and third floors of the building when the incident took place. While 10 died due to asphyxiation, three died from burns. Three others sustained injuries while one had escaped unhurt.
The PIL was filed on November 14 by Shaheed Nagar resident, Rajeev Kumar Sharma, who is a human rights defender and RTI activist.
The petition seeks a compensation of ₹10 lakh for the family of the deceased and ₹5 lakh for the survivors. Secondly, it asks for action against the district administration officials responsible, following a proper investigation. Third, all similar illegal factories should be shut down in the district for which NHRC may pass directions to the UP government. Fourth, the UP chief secretary and the director general of police should submit a detailed report on the incident to NHRC.
“It is a complete violation of the human rights of those who lost their lives working at an unauthorised unit that was being run illegally under the shelter of the district administration. Moreover, the DM had said that a report will be made within 15 days of the incident after conducting raids on all such illegal workshops, but there has been no such development despite it being a month after the incident,” Sharma, the petitioner, said.
Following the incident, the district magistrate had constituted a committee of officials from the administration as well as pollution, industrial, labour and fire service departments, headed by the additional district magistrate (city).
“We were not able to devote a police team for the purpose as all of them were busy with bank duty due to demonetisation. However, we will crack down on such illegal workshops soon and file a report with the NHRC,” Nidhi Kesarwani, district magistrate of Ghaziabad, said.
According to the police, the owners of the illegal factory were arrested after the incident.
“While the accused in the fire incident case have been put behind bars, we will soon conduct a raid to seal all such illegal workshops functioning in Shaheed Nagar. A report will be sent to the commission accordingly,” Deepak Kumar, SSP, Ghaziabad, said.