Rajkot fire: Gujarat Congress wants FIR against top officials, BJP office-bearers

State Congress president Shaktisinh Gohil's statement follows state government order to suspend six officials

What used to be TRP Game Zone (photo: PTI)
What used to be TRP Game Zone (photo: PTI)


The Gujarat Congress on Monday demanded that senior civic and state officials and office-bearers of the state's ruling BJP be named in the FIR registered in connection with the Rajkot game zone fire which claimed 35 lives on 25 May.

Addressing a press conference, state Congress president Shaktisinh Gohil also asked the government to consider giving “generous” compensation to the kin of those killed, saying the majority of the families have humble backgrounds.

Gohil’s statement came soon after the state government ordered the suspension of six officials for “gross negligence in allowing the game zone to operate without necessary approvals”.

The Congress leader said the action was only taken against some low-ranking officials. “In the past, several high-ranking officials, including the Rajkot mayor, collector and municipal commissioner, visited this place and shared their photographs on social media. In such a scenario, how can you expect that a junior officer would dare take action against the game zone management?” Gohil asked.

He also shared some photos posted on the Facebook page of TRP Game Zone, where 27 persons, including four children under the age of 12, were killed in the massive fire.

“In one of the photos taken in 2022, BJP office-bearers, including former mayor Pradip Dav, can be seen at TRP Arena. In another photograph, former BJP MLA Arvind Raiyani and some other local BJP leaders can be seen,” Gohil claimed.

Police presence on site (photo: PTI)
Police presence on site (photo: PTI)

There is no meaning in suspending junior-level officers who have no powers, he said, demanding that senior civic and state officials and BJP office-bearers be named as accused in the FIR. “We also demand generous compensation for the kin of the deceased,” he said.

So far, the state and Centre have announced a cumulative compensation of Rs 6 lakh for the kin of each deceased.

The senior Congress leader said there was a time when the Union railway minister and civil aviation minister used to resign after major accidents. He wondered how the officials failed to notice that such a large recreation complex was being run illegally, particularly when the Gujarat High Court had repeatedly asked the government to ensure compliance with fire safety norms at such places.

“During our visit to Rajkot on Sunday, we learnt that even if you have installed all the required equipment to deal with fire, a no objection certificate (NOC) won’t be issued unless you pay a bribe. And, even if you don't have anything in place, you can obtain a fire NOC if you are ready to shell out some money,” Gohil alleged.

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