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Rajkot gaming zone fire: Gujarat government suspends 7 officials for negligence

Rajkot: The Gujarat government on Monday ordered the suspension of seven officials, including two police inspectors and civic staff of Rajkot Municipal Corporation, for dereliction of duty in connection with the fire incident at a gaming zone in Rajkot,which killed 27 persons.
Those who have been suspended include Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) town planning department assistant engineer Jaideep Chaudhary, assistant town planner for RMC Gautam Joshi, Rajkot Roads and Buildings department's deputy executive engineer HR Suma, Assistant Engineer Road and Building Department of RMC Parsbhai M Kothiya, Station Officer of Fire and Emergency Services of Rajkot Municipal Corporation, Rohit Vigora and police inspectors VR Patel and NI Rathod, as per orders passed by the respective departments.
The officials have been held responsible "for their gross negligence in allowing this game zone to operate without necessary approvals," according to a government release.
Meanwhile, a Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) team conducted an investigation on Monday at TRP Game Zone where a massive fire broke out on May 25.
According to officials, an FIR has been filed against six people, including TRP Game Zone owner Yuvraj Hari Singh Solanki, manager Nitin Jain, and others at Rajkot Taluka Police Station.
The FSL team was seen collecting samples from the charred debris of the building. The team is working with the police to collect all the scientific evidence so that the police can complete the investigation as soon as possible and file a charge sheet in the case.
Both the owner and the manager of the gaming zone have been arrested and produced in court today.
"A case under IPC sections 304 (for culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (for attempt to commit culpable homicide), 337 (for causing hurt by an act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (for causing grievous hurt by an act endangering life or personal safety of others), and 114 (for abettor present when the offense is committed) has been registered against six people, out of which two are in custody," Rajkot Police Commissioner Raju Bhargava said in a press conference on Sunday.
The police said that a nine-member SIT has been formed to investigate the case, and special police teams are working to arrest other accused.
Regarding the cause of the incident, the police said that some fabrication work was taking place in the game zone and inflammable materials were kept there.
"According to the preliminary investigation, some fabrication work was happening there. There were many inflammable materials, and the fire occurred possibly because of welding activity," the police commissioner said
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, along with Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi, inspected the Rajkot TRP gaming zone on Sunday. The duo also met the injured at Rajkot's Giriraj Hospital.
Following the incident, all the gaming zones in Vadodara were inspected and temporarily shut down.

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