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Charge sheet filed in May 24 fire in Surat coaching institute that killed 22 students


SURAT: Two months after a fire in a commercial complex killed 22 students of a coaching institute, police filed a charge sheet on Monday against 11 accused in a court here.

The fire broke out on the top floor of Takshashila Arcade in Sarthana area of Surat on May 24, and several students jumped off the building to escape it.

The 4,271-page charge sheet with statements of more than 270 witnesses was filed in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate C J Rathod.

The 11 accused include builders of the complex, Surat Municipal Corporation officials as well as the owner of the coaching institute.

They have been charged under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), and 114 (abettor present when the offence is committed) of the Indian Penal Code.

A probe found negligence on the part of the accused, as highly inflammable material and tyres, which doubled up as chairs in the coaching class, caused the fire to spread rapidly.

It had found that civic officials had turned a blind eye to illegal construction on the top floor of the complex to create space for the coaching institute.

The charge sheet names the accused as Bhargav Bhutani, Harsukh Vekariya, Jignesh Paghdal, Savji Paghdal, Ravindra Kahar, Parag Munshi, Jayesh Solanki, S K Acharya, Kirti Modh, Vinu Parmar and Dipak Nayak.

Three other accused are yet to be arrested.


348 Days ago

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