Rajkot observes bandh to mark one month of TRP Game Zone fire - Hindustan Times
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Rajkot observes bandh to mark one month of TRP Game Zone fire

Jun 25, 2024 09:11 PM IST

The tragic TRP Game Zone fire accident in Gujarat’s Rajkot claimed 27 lives, including those of innocent children on May 25

The streets of Rajkot wore a deserted look on Tuesday as the city observed a bandh to mark one month after the tragic TRP Game Zone fire accident that claimed 27 lives, including those of innocent children. The usually bustling roadways fell silent, with shuttered storefronts and empty roads serving as a grim reminder of the tragic incident in May.

Investigations revealed that the TRP Game Zone was operating without the necessary fire safety clearance from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation. (File Photo)
Investigations revealed that the TRP Game Zone was operating without the necessary fire safety clearance from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation. (File Photo)

In support of the ‘Rajkot bandh’ called by the Opposition Congress, schools, colleges, tuition centres, gold and jewellery markets, and other commercial establishments were shut. Several commercial associations backed the Congress’ bandh call by announcing the closure of their businesses for the day. Family members of the victims had also endorsed the bandh.

The bandh aimed to demand higher compensation for the families of the deceased, justice for the victims’ families, and a thorough investigation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) established by the state government.

Gujarat Congress president Shaktisinh Gohil, Vadgam MLA Jignesh Mevani and a few other leaders approached business owners to close their doors for a day in solidarity with the victims and their families.

“It’s not about politics…it’s about getting justice for those who lost their lives in the tragedy,” Mevani was heard telling a hesitant shopkeeper who soon downed the shutters of his readymade garments shop.

Police detained around 50 persons, mostly National Student Union of India (NSUI) workers, for allegedly forcing shopkeepers to close or blocking roads during the protest, according to an official. Among those briefly held was Kamlesh Sagathiya, a relative of Asha Kathad (18), one of the 27 victims of the TRP Game Zone tragedy. All detainees were released later in the day.

Addressing a press conference in Rajkot, Gohil thanked shopkeepers and owners of other establishments in Rajkot city for keeping their premises closed for half a day in memory of the deceased.

“We have given this bandh call so that the government ensures justice. We have also urged managements of schools and colleges to join the bandh,” said Gohil.

Police personnel were deployed across various locations in the city, and patrolling was intensified to prevent any untoward incidents as part of the security arrangements.

In response to the incident, the state government established a Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by Additional Director General of Police Subhash Trivedi to ascertain the causes of the fire, identify system loopholes, and recommend preventive measures for the future.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on June 22 held a video conference with the relatives of the victims.

During the call, Gandhi expressed solidarity with the affected families, stating, “We will put pressure on the government for a fair investigation and proper compensation.”

The fire sparked significant concern over safety regulations. Investigations revealed that the game zone was operating without the necessary fire safety clearance from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation.

A total of 15 individuals, including five game zone owners and several senior officials from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC), have been arrested in connection with the fire tragedy.

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