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Game zone fire: Accused partner among killed; another co-owner held

May 30, 2024 01:24 IST

A partner of the Rajkot-based TRP game zone, named as an accused in the case registered over the last week's devastating fire at the recreation facility, was among the 27 persons who died in the tragedy, officials said on Wednesday.

IMAGE: The Banaskantha Crime Branch arrested Dhaval Thakkar (centre), the main accused in the Rajkot TRP Game Zone fire incident, in Banaskantha, Gujarat, May 28, 2024. Photograph: ANI Photo

Another partner or co-owner of the firm that operated the recreation facility has been nabbed which took the number of persons arrested in the case to five, officials said.


Kiritsinh Jadeja, a partner in Raceway Enterprises which operated the game zone, was arrested from Rajkot-Kalavad road on Tuesday night, Rajkot deputy commissioner of police (Crime) Parthrajsinh Gohil told PTI on Wednesday.

Jadeja is among the six partners of the firm named as accused in the First Information Report registered over the incident under various Indian Penal Code provisions including 'culpable homicide not amounting to murder'.

"Of the six persons named in the FIR, one Prakash Hiran (a partner) was found to have died in the fire. The DNA sample of one of the deceased matched with that of Hiran's kin, confirming his death," the official said.

Police had earlier arrested Yuvrajsinh Solanki, Rahul Rathod, Dhaval Thakkar, all game zone partners, and its manager Nitin Jain. Another accused is on the run.

The blaze at the game zone on May 25 claimed 27 lives, with most of the victims charred beyond recognition. Rajkot collector Prabhav Joshi announced on Wednesday that DNA samples of all the 27 deceased have been matched with their relatives.

Subhash Trivedi, head of the Special Investigation Team probing the fire, said it has been instructed to probe the roles of officers of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation, fire department, police and the power utility firm.

He was speaking to the media after Gujarat Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi met the SIT members in Gandhinagar and reviewed the probe.

“MoS Home has clearly asked us to question even senior government employees, including IAS and IPS officials, if needed," he said.

As the game zone operators had stored over 30 litres of petrol on the premises, beyond the permissible limit, relevant sections will be added to the FIR under the Petroleum Act, said Trivedi.

"This is a fool-proof case. A commercial structure was erected on a piece of land without acquiring NA (Non-Agriculture) clearance," he added.

The Gujarat police has launched a crackdown in the wake of the Rajkot incident and registered cases against 18 game zones allegedly operating without valid permissions, officials said.

In Rajkot city, police sealed eight game zones, including a water park, and registered cases against their owners under IPC section 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others) and Gujarat Police Act.

In Ahmedabad, police sealed four illegal game zones.
"As per law, game zones are first required to take various NOCs regarding fire safety as well as electrical and mechanical safety. They need to get permission from the police by showing these NOCs. None of these four game zones had acquired our permission," said police commissioner G S Malik.

In Surat, six game zones in Rander, Pal, Umara and Vesu areas were sealed.

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