Congress observes 'Rajkot bandh' to mark one month of TRP game zone fire

The bandh aimed to demand higher compensation for the families of the deceased, and a thorough investigation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT).
Protests during the bandh in Rajkot.
Protests during the bandh in Rajkot.(Photo | Special Arrangement)

AHMEDABAD: The main markets in Rajkot appeared deserted, with numerous establishments remaining closed on Tuesday as the city observed a bandh to mark one month since the tragic fire at a game zone that claimed 27 lives, including children.

In support of the 'Rajkot bandh' called by the opposition Congress, schools, colleges, tuition centres, gold and jewellery markets, and other commercial establishments were shut.

The bandh aimed to demand higher compensation for the families of the deceased, justice for the victims' families, and a thorough investigation by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) established by the state government.

Several commercial associations backed the Congress' bandh call by announcing the closure of their businesses for the day.

Police personnel were deployed across various locations in the city, and patrolling was intensified to prevent any untoward incidents as part of the security arrangements.

Closed shops during the bandh.
Closed shops during the bandh.Special Arrangement

Meanwhile, clashes erupted between Congress workers and police on Kalavad Road in Rajkot. As Congress workers protested on the road, they clashed with the police, leading to the detention of several protesters.

Congress MLA Jignesh Mevani, state party president Shaktisinh Gohil, and other local leaders visited various areas in Rajkot to express their gratitude to business owners for their support in making the bandh "successful."

Gohil accused the government, stating, "Even after a month, the government has not reached out to the victims with sympathy or asked how they can help. This is not the way democracy should function."

Protests during the bandh in Rajkot.
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Family members of the victims had also endorsed the bandh. Some relatives of those who died in the fire tragedy engaged in a video conference with Congress MP Rahul Gandhi on June 22.

In response to the incident, the state government established a Special Investigation Team (SIT) led by Additional Director General of Police Subhash Trivedi to ascertain the causes of the fire, identify system loopholes, and recommend preventive measures for the future.

A total of 15 individuals, including five game zone owners and several senior officials from the Rajkot Municipal Corporation (RMC), have been arrested in connection with the fire tragedy.

Police investigations revealed that the game zone operated without a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the RMC's fire department.

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The New Indian Express