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Published 19:35 IST, April 15th 2024

Kota Hostel Fire: Building Sealed and Owners Booked For Negligence

After the Kota hostel fire, a case was filed against the hostel owner Naresh Dhakhar and director Hitesh Jain under Sections 285 and 333 of the IPC.

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Kota: After a massive fire broke out on Sunday morning in a boys' hostel building in Kota, Rajasthan, the hostel owners were arrested. The fire had injured eight students in the blaze, which occurred due to a short circuit, police said. Taking note of the incident that took place in Adarsh Residency hostel in Laxman Vihar, the Kota district administration ordered to seal the hostel for non-“compliance of safety measures and absence of fire NOC (no-objection certificate), Rakesh Vyas, a fire officer at Kota Municipal Corporation, said.

Further, a case was filed against the hostel owner Naresh Dhakhar and director Hitesh Jain under Sections 285 and 333 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for negligence.

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Around 2,200 hostels in Kota-South and Kota-North have already been served notices for non-“compliance of fire safety guidelines and action against these hostels would be initiated soon, Vyas said.

The incident happened around 6.15 am in the Landmark City area under the Kunhari police station limits, Kota (City) Superintendent of Police Amrita Duhan said.

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According to initial investigation, a short circuit in an electric transformer installed on the ground floor of the five-storey hostel building led to the fire, the police said, adding that the forensic team, however, is trying to ascertain the exact reason for the incident.

Vyas said it was alarming that the transformer was installed inside the hostel building. The incident could have taken a tragic turn if it had occurred sometime in the night, he said.

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Eight students were injured in the incident; six of them with minor burn injuries were administered primary medical treatment at Maharao Bheem Singh (MBS) Hospital here, the police said.

Two boys - one with burns in the arms, chest and neck and another with a fractured leg --have been hospitalised, SP Duhan said. The student who suffered a fracture in his leg had, along with 14 others, jumped from the building's first floor to escape the fire, they added.

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Bhavishya Dungeria, a NEET aspirant from Chindwara in Madhya Pradesh, who lived in the building, suffered an ankle injury in the incident. He said he was woken up by a loud noise at around 6.15 am and when he came out of his room, he found thick smoke everywhere.

He said the students decided to jump from the first floor as the staircase was filled with smoke and there was no other way out of the building. The building has 75 rooms of which 61 were occupied, the police said.

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When the fire broke out, some students climbed on to the rooftop of the building, while a few others attempted to climb down through walls and windows and some others jumped from the first floor and sustained leg injuries, they said.

SP Duhan said two fire tenders rushed to the spot and doused the fire within an hour. The blaze was controlled before it could spread to upper floors.

All the students have been rescued from the building, Circle Inspector at Kunhari police station Arvind Bhardwaj said.

The parents of the students are being contacted to assure them that their wards are safe, he added.

Following the order of Kota district collector, the hostel has been sealed for non-compliance of fire safety norms, fire officer Vyas said.

Two other hostels - Gyandeep and Paras Jeevandeep - in the same area were also sealed on Sunday for similar violations despite being served notice multiple times, he added.

Around 2,200 hostels in Kota-South and Kota-North have already been served notices for non-“compliance of fire safety guidelines and action against these hostels would be initiated soon. However, occupancy of students in these hostels raises a barrier in action as the students cannot be disturbed and shifted to other places during the exam time, Vyas said.

With inputs from PTI

19:35 IST, April 15th 2024