Two days after over 200 people were affected by colour poisoning while celebrating Holi in Mumbai, the police on Saturday arrested five former workers of an abandoned dye factory in suburban Dharavi, in connection with the incident.
Among those who took ill on Thursday were many children in the age group of 9-10 years, who complained of giddiness and vomiting soon after they used toxic colours in Shastrinagar area of Dharavi.
The affected people were rushed to various civic hospitals in the city after they developed allergic reactions.
Abdul Gaffar Abdul Satar Siddique, 43, Mushtaq Ahmed, 38, Hayat Mohammad Tir Mohammad Sheikh, 36, Mohram Ali Abdul Zabar Siddique, 42, and Mohammad Shafique Abdul Zafar Siddique, 35, were arrested on Saturday, said the police.
They are former workers of an abandoned dye factory located in Shastrinagar area, believed to be the source of the toxic colour.
The arrested accused used to work at the now defunct unit from where the affected children are believed to have collected the chemicals, mistaking them for colours, on the day of the incident.
"The children collected colours from the abandoned colour dye factory," said the police.
When the said structure was demolished, the chemicals should have been disposed of, but were instead dumped there. The children who went to the factory mistook it for colours, said the police, adding some of the hues were even sold at cheap rates in the market.
Soon after the incident, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had ordered a detailed probe by a six-member committee into the incident.
The six-member team is headed by Medical Education Department's Secretary I S Chahal and it will submit its report in two weeks. The committee will fix responsibility and suggest preventive measures.