Shimla, Feb 24

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that the State government would deal with the perpetrators sternly in Mandi and Una tragedies matter, which claimed lives of 13 people as high level probe is being conducted after lodging FIRs under various sections of IPCs, Excise and Explosive act. He was making a statement on the issue of firecrackers tragedy on which Congress and CPM members raised concern in the house, on the second day of the house.
He said that so far 36 people are arrested in the Mandi Hooch tragedy who are behind bars as none of them have got bail so far. The Government would not spare anyone who may have affiliation with any political parties including the ruling government.

Chief Minister said that after completing the investigation in Una illegal firecracker factory with in seven days the concerned minister would give a statement in the house and anyone found responsible would not be spared and a lesson would be taught in a way so that no one thinks of doing such an act in the future. Thakur said that six women died in the industrial Area Bathu, Tahliwal District Una in the incident of explosion in the firecracker factory on Feb 22, 2022, at 900am. Informing the house he said that soon after the explosion a police team under the in-charge Chowki Tahliwal had immediately reached the spot.

Chief minister who holds the portfolio of home said that the owner of the factory is still at large. The owner who ran away from the spot was booked under section 286,337, 304A, IPC, and section 9C, under the Explosives Act, in the FIR registered in the police station Haroli. In view of the seriousness of the matter, the DGP constituted SIT which was led by Sumeda Dwivedi, DIG North range with Commandant 1st IRB Bangarh Vimukt Ranjan, and SP Una Arjit Sen Thakur, were made members of the team.

He informed that understanding the gravity of the matter, SIT  has taken quick action and closely inspected the spot, photographs of the spot were taken and important physical, documentary and other evidence and the spot of crime has been sealed. Bomb disposal team inspected the spot to confirm the cause of the explosion and the type of explosive. He said that the firecrackers factory was running under the face of Noratech Engineers Ludhiana illegally.

He said that premises of the factory was earlier used by the Novatech Engineers Ludhiana.  In the above case, SIT has arrested the manager of the above factory, Deepak Kumar Rana, on Feb 23, 2022.  Police have seized a huge quantity of firecrackers, gunpowder and packing material by raiding two places of the accused.

The total recovered Gun Powder is 1926.05 Kg and paint is 90 Liters.  A laptop and a car have also been seized by the police.   Apart from this, three teams have been sent to the outskirts for the arrest of two to five people on the basis of CDR location of the suspects.  Authorities are constantly raiding their possible bases. The post-mortem of six people killed in the above incident has been done in Una Hospital and the body has been handed over to their relatives.  Out of 14 injured in the blast, 10 patients were referred to P.G.I. Chandigarh in critical condition.

Police teams is after four accused who are said to be factory owners. Seven suspects and witnesses were interrogated by the SIT and raid was done in the warehouse of MBBS Trading Company in Barnala where the manufactured fire crackers were being sent from the fire cracker factor.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur blamed the Leader of Opposition for trying to divert the attention of the house by blaming the Government to protect the people involved in crime. It is not fair and dignified on behalf of Congress leaders to drag anyone to controversy without verifying the allegations.
He said that Government is taking action against the perpetrators of crime without discriminating their political affiliations as matter is related to the death of many people have lost lives in such incidents.
Industry minister Vikram Singh said that the illegal firecracker factory was not supplied with power and water connections. The said firm did not run the factory after taking permission under sec 118. He said that Novatech was registered with the Industry department when the Leader of Opposition was industry minister. He said that no firm was granted permission to set up industry without submitting legal documents as alleged by the leader of opposition.
Earlier raising this issue in the house Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri had said that if any illegal factory is going in the state it should be in the knowledge of the concerned department as Gram Panchayat and local representatives are not authorized or could not inspect such a unit in their respective industrial areas. He said that Novatech was registered in the state with regards to setting up the ‘Dharam Kanta’ (Weighbridges) during the Congress rule.


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