Rajkot game zone fire: 2 civic staffers held for tampering with documents

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Earth movers dismantle debris of a fire incident at TRP game zone at Rajkot, Gujarat on May 26, 2024.

Earth movers dismantle debris of a fire incident at TRP game zone at Rajkot, Gujarat on May 26, 2024.

Rajkot: Two employees of the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC) have been arrested for allegedly making certain changes in documents pertaining to a game zone after a fire there last month claimed 27 lives, police said on Sunday.

With this, 12 persons, including six government employees, have so been arrested in connection with the May 25 incident at the TRP game zone in Gujarat's Rajkot city, they said The city crime branch on Saturday arrested RMC's assistant town planning officer Rajesh Makwana and assistant engineer Jaideep Chaudhary for their alleged involvement in making changes in an official register after the fire incident, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime, Parthrajsinh Gohil said.

"They made certain changes in government documents related to the TRP game zone after the fire incident. They also forged documents," he said.

"So far we have arrested six government employees and six other persons in connection with the TRP game zone fire," Gohil said.

The four government employees arrested earlier include Rajkot's Town Planning Officer M D Sagathia, assistant TPOs Mukesh Makwana and Gautam Joshi, and former station officer of Kalavad Road fire station Rohit Vigora.

A co-owner of the game zone, Ashoksinh Jadeja, surrendered before the police on Thursday evening.

Jadeja is one of the six owners of the TRP game zone. Five of them have been so far arrested and one died in the May 25 fire.

A manager of the game zone has also been arrested in the case.

During a probe into the incident, it was confirmed that one of the co-owners of the game zone, Prakash Hiran, who was named in the FIR and was missing since the tragedy, died in the deadly fire as he was inside the facility when it was gutted, according to police.

A CCTV camera footage showed the fire started after sparks fell on thermocol (polystrene) sheets during welding work on the ground floor.

Though workers present there tried to douse the blaze with fire extinguishers, it spread quickly and eventually engulfed the game zone.

According to police, the game zone was being operated without a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the RMC's fire department.

After the Rajkot incident, several game zones and other recreation hubs were sealed across the state and FIRs were also filed against the owners for running such facilities without requisite permissions.