Oppn accuses Maharashtra govt of protecting Chamundi factory management over blast that killed 9

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Mumbai, Jul 9 (PTI) Opposition Congress on Tuesday accused the Maharashtra government of trying to protect the management of Chamundi Explosives Pvt Ltd in Nagpur district, where an explosion last month claimed nine lives, after a minister said that per the home department, culpable homicide charges could not invoked against the factory.

Deputy Chairperson of the legislative council Neelam Gorhe later directed the state government to submit a detailed report into the factory explosion in the winter session of the state legislature.

The discussion on the issue was initiated by NCP legislator Amol Mitkari. The opposition questioned the labour department's failure to pursue culpable homicide charges against the management of Chamundi factory.

Labour minister Suresh Khade said, "My department inquired with the state home department on whether culpable homicide charges can be invoked against the factory management. But the home department informed us that no such charges can be invoked." After Khade made this revelation, Congress legislators Satej Patil and Abhijit Wanjari alleged that the state government appeared to be protecting the factory management.

Khade tried to placate them by answering to their queries, but they refused to accept his explanation.

Deputy chairperson Gorhe said, "In the past, a blast occurred at a factory in Mulshi near Pune city. In that case, the police had invoked culpable homicide charges against its management. There are numerous instances where the management was held accountable for the death of workers or employees." Khade later agreed to take up the same demand with the home department again.

Gorhe asked the ministry to submit a detailed report on the Chamundi factory explosion in the winter session of the legislature.

The blast at Chamundi factory took place on June 13 Ltd in Dhamna village under Hingna police station limits, around 25 km from Nagpur city. The deceased included six women. Most of the victims were working in the factory's packaging unit when the explosion took place, police said.

The police later arrested Jay Shivshankar Khemka (49), the director of the factory, and manager Sagar Deshmukh. PTI ND NP

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