Chandigarh: 5 days on, Sec-32 building owner lands in police net
Five days after a fire at an illegal paying guest facility in Sector 32 killed three girls, the police on Thursday arrested the building owner, Gaurav Aneja.
Aneja, who had been on the run since the tragedy, was arrested from Sector 32, police said. He was produced before a local court that sent him to judicial custody.
Following the fire on February 22, Aneja and Nitish Bansal and Nitish Popli, the men running the PG accommodation, were booked under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 336 (act endangering life of others), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.
Even as guidelines mandate that the building owner should live on the PG premises, Aneja lives in Sector 30 and runs a confectionary shop in Sector 32, while Popli and Bansal are residents of Sectors 34 and 50, respectively.
Police said Aneja had rented out the house for ₹90,000 to Bansal and Popli. Each of the 34 girls living in the two-storey house were paying ₹10,000 a month for lodging and food.
To accommodate more paying guests, the trio had installed temporary polyvinyl chloride (PVC) wall partitions in the 10-marla building, in violation of norms. Bansal was arrested following the fire on February 22, while Popli remains at large.
The fire had left three girls dead and two injured. The deceased were Muskan Mehta, Riya Arora and Pakshi Grover, all aged between 19 and 21. While Pakshi and Riya died due to suffocation and also suffered burns, Muskan succumbed to 70% burn injuries.
Bansal was also booked under Section 188 of IPC on February 5, 2019 for running an illegal PG in Sector 33. But, he was let off by a court with a fine of ₹200 in November later that year.