Trade Fair organisers file surrender plea in court
Meerut, Apr 16: The three organisers of the Trade Fair, which was devastated by a fire last Monday, have filed a plea for surrender in a local court.
The plea was filed in the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (I) Ashok Pathak. The court has asked for a report from the Civil Lines Police Station and fixed tomorrow for hearing the matter.
The three organisers -- Lakhan Tomar, Aashit Gupta and Siddarth Malhotra -- against whom an FIR under section 304 (A) (causing death by negligence) of the IPC was filed in aftermath of the tragedy, had been still at large despite a police hunt. The charge was later amended to section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) following intense public anger.
It is believed that the surrender plea came in order to forestall further action, including attachment of their properties. Authorities also felt that it was possible that the three would approach the Allahabad High Court for protection against arrest.
The current toll in the tragedy is now 46 following the death of some more grievously injured, while 113 people are undergoing treatment -- 64 in Meerut and 49 in various hospitals in Delhi, Noida and Ghaziabad. After a couple was found safe, the number of those missing is said to be four.
District Magistrate Mukesh Meshram said till now the authorities have disbursed relief amounting to one crore, sixteen lakh and fifty thousand rupees to the families of 31 dead, 80 seriously injured and 59 who suffered minor injuries.