Four labourers died while cleaning chemical tank
- Chiripal Group, which owns the factory, has reported 11 labour deaths in six months.
- Former DGP Chittranjan Singh is an independent Director of this company.
Deepak Masla, Ahmedabad: Four labourers died after entering a chemical tank to clean effluents in a unit of Vishal Fabrics where former DGP Chittranjan Singh is an independent director. They entered without any safety gears. Former DGP Chittranjan singh is Gujarat cadre IPS officer-1976 batch.
Labourers inhaled poisonous gases while entering a chemical tank to clean effluents in a unit of Vishal Fabrics at Dhodi Road in Dholka on Saturday. They entered the plant without any safety gears. It is a violation of labour norms.
Allegations were being made since the incident reported that authorities were pussyfooting in the case. Developments in the case are unraveling the intent.
Interestingly, former DGP Chittranjan Singh is an independent director in the company. The local police’s alleged lethargy in investigating such a serious case of negligence could also be attributed to it.But thanks to the pressure that being built up over the company’s poor attitude towards the safety of its workers, ASP Nitesh Pandey ordered that an FIR should filed based on a complaint by relatives of the deceased, sources said. They said, as a result, an FIR filed at the Kot police station.
The timeline of the incident
1. 4 labourers die in a unit of Vishal Fabrics of Chiripal Group at Dhodi Road on Saturday.
2. Company officials asked the labourers to clean the chemical tank of the firm in gross violation of safety norms
3. No safety gears were provided to the concerned labourers
4. The noxious gases in the tank ended up killing all four of them
5. Despite the seriousness of the case, official HR Patel of Koth police station allegedly did not take any action
6. The PSI of the police station is accused of trying to hide details from the media as well
7. PSI allegedly made efforts to ensure that a copy of the complaint is not accessible. This gives rise to the suspicion that he tried to help the accused
8. Patel refused to take a call despite several attempts
Complaint filed against Ramesh Vaghela after intense pressure
After intense pressure to take action in the case and following directions from ASP Nitesh Pandey, the police filed a complaint against Ramesh Vaghela. The complainant Mohabatsangh Rathod, the uncle of one of the deceased Pravin Rathod.
It is alleged that pressure put on the concerned authorities by both political and government officials who wanted to dismiss it as yet another accident. However, a complaint filed later in the night.Police sources said that if the accused contractor is called for questioning the name of the top officials of the company will emerge.
Former DGP initially denies he is a director with the company
Chittranjan Singh, former DGP of Gujarat, when contacted by Gujarat Exclusive initially denied that he is a director with the company.He told Gujarat Exclusive that he is not a director with the company and merely handled security for the firm.When pointed out that his name figured in the list of directors, he said he is an independent director.
It has also emerged that Chittranjan Singh is also a director with the Shanti Educational Initiative, which also belongs to the Chiripal Group.Sources said the death of labourers is a security issue too.Earlier in February, seven labourers died in a fire in Nandan Denims, another unit of the Chiripal Group, in Narol.
There too safety protocols and facilities is an issue.It, however, remains to be seen if the government shows the determination to take on rich industrialists and fix responsibility of Chiripal Group after the 11 deaths or the case will once again be lost in legal and bureaucratic tangles.
Read this news in Gujarati:- પૂર્વ DGP ચિતરંજન સિંહ 4 મજૂરને ભરખી જનાર ચિરીપાલની વિશાલ ફેબ્રિક્સમાં ડાયરેક્ટર