NHRC pulls up Ghaziabad, state officials over blast in illegal factory that killed five
The notices were served after Rajiv Sharma, an activist had moved NHRC, alleged that the deaths took place as the illegal factory was running under the ‘patronage’ of the district administration. He also blamed inaction by the police authorities.Updated: Jun 29, 2017 22:27 IST
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh labour commissioner, Ghaziabad district magistrate and the senior superintendent of police over a blast in an illegally operated fireworks factory in Loni that left five dead.
The incident took place on April 28 at the illegal fireworks manufacturing factory in Farrukhnagar-Asalatpur area.
The notices were served after Rajiv Sharma, an activist had moved NHRC, alleged that the deaths took place as the illegal factory was running under the ‘patronage’ of the district administration. He also blamed inaction by the police authorities.
“Meanwhile, the deputy inspector general of the investigation division of the commission will get this matter inquired by deputing a team of officers for a thorough investigation of the allegations made in the complaint and submit the report within this period,” the NHRC order on June 28 stated.
Petitioner Sharma had contended before the Commission that the factory in Farrukhnagar was operational despite all such units having been closed down by the district administration following a Supreme Court order in November 2016.
“The factories were shut by the administration but the erring factory was continuing operation. The blast in the factory led to the death of five workers. Had the administration or police checked the operation, five lives could have been saved,” Sharma said.
“Such factories are running in residential areas. In an incident in November 2016, 13 workers were charred to death in a fire at a garment manufacturing workshop in Shaheed Nagar. There is laxity in checking illegal units and they continue to operate rampantly,” he said.
In the incident pertaining to the illegal fireworks unit, five persons, including factory operator Pappu Kumar, and four others — Sagir, Rafiq, Ashfaq and Qutub — were killed due to an explosion of chemicals used in the preparation of fireworks.
Farrukhnagar is a major fireworks manufacturing hub. The factories here were shut by the administration following the Supreme Court’s order.
The Supreme Court had ordered the ban after hearing a petition that sought a ban on the sale of firecrackers in Delhi and the National Capital Region. The directions were issued to improve air quality in the region, which had worsened considerably following Diwali celebrations last year.
First Published: Jun 29, 2017 22:27 IST