Updated May 28th, 2024 at 08:56 IST

Rajkot TRP Game Zone Fire: Main Accused Arrested; Three Others in Police Custody

The main accused in the Rajkot TRP game zone fire incident was arrested by Banaskantha Local Crime Branch police and Rajkot Police on Sunday, said police.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Debris being removed from the game zone site where a fire broke out in Rajkot. | Image:PTI photo
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Surat: Days after the Rajkot TRP game zone fire incident left the nation in shock with 35 deaths, Dhaval Thakkar, the main accused has been arrested by the Banaskantha Local Crime Branch police and Rajkot Police. Thakkar, a resident of Abu Road, had been on the run since the incident happened.

Earlier, a court in the Rajkot district ordered a 14-day police remand for three other men arrested in connection with the fire. The additional judicial magistrate BP Thakar remanded Yuvraj Hari Singh Solanki, Nitin Jain, and Rahul Rathod to police custody, according to special public prosecutor Tushar Gokani.

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"The main ground of remand was that they were not cooperating during the investigation. They (the accused) are giving 'evasive replies' to whatever questions are asked and whatever documents are asked. They are saying it was burnt in the incident. They are not cooperating in the investigation and that was the main ground--to seek their cooperation and elicit the truth from them," said the official.

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"We told the court that the main accused are on the run, and these accused persons make evasive replies and are not cooperating with the investigating agencies," Gokani said.

He said that the accused Solanki, tried to put up an act in his bid to express before the court that he was filled with remorse for whatever happened. "When he entered the court, he tried to project that he had remorse for the incident and everyone felt that he was crying. After five minutes, he was laughing and arguing with the court," Gokani said.

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"This very accused seemed like he was crying as soon as he entered the court but in just a few minutes he started laughing and he said that 'these kinds of things happen,' which was taken in a serious note by the honourable court," said Gokani.

In the wake of the ill-fated game zone incident in Gujarat's Rajkot, the state government has suspended seven officials, including two police inspectors and staff from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation, for negligence. Additionally, all gaming zones in Vadodara have been inspected and temporarily closed as a precautionary measure.

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The fire tragedy

35 people including nine children were charred to death in a massive fire that swept through a game zone teeming with people enjoying a summer vacation outing on Saturday (May 25) evening. The centre was crowded with visitors due to summer vacations, the weekend, and a special ticket discount of Rs 99.

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Although not independently verified by Republic World, CCTV footage indicates that the fire began during welding work. Sparks from the welding ignited a nearby pile of plastic, rapidly escalating into an uncontrollable blaze. Workers tried to douse the fire but failed. As the flames spread, a temporary structure near the entrance collapsed, trapping several people inside. This tragic event has highlighted serious concerns about the safety standards at the facility.

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Published May 28th, 2024 at 08:55 IST