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Mundka Fire: Initial Inquiry Shows 'Congestion' As Cause; 3 in Judicial Custody

A massive fire broke out in a building near Mundka metro station on 13 May, killing 27 people.

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Mundka Fire: Initial Inquiry Shows 'Congestion' As Cause; 3 in Judicial Custody
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A Delhi court on Wednesday, 18 May, sent accused Manish Lakra, Harish Goyal, and Varun Goyal to five-day judicial custody in the Mundka fire case.

"We have taken about 15 documents pertaining to property, company and rent agreements from both Goel brothers and Manish Lakra," DCP (Outer) Sameer Sharma said.

Meanwhile, a preliminary investigation suggested that the blaze was caused by a changeover switch on the first floor, which was located near a congested storage unit consisting of cardboard and other dumped material.

Lakra, the owner of the building in Mundka that was gutted in the fire, along with the owners of a company in the same multistorey structure – Harish Goel and Varun Goel – were produced in court on Wednesday after spending a day in police custody.

They will be produced in city court again on 23 May, reported news agency ANI.

Metropolitan magistrate Udita Jain Garg ordered judicial custody of the accused after police interrogation.

The court also directed jail authorities to ensure proper medical treatment of Harish Goyal after advocate Varun Gupta said that Goyal was suffering from high blood pressure and required medical care.


Inspector Gulshan Nagpal had moved to send the accused to judicial custody during the investigation and said that the probe was still underway.

He also submitted that the father of Harish and Varun also perished in the suffocation. His identification is yet to be done.

What the Preliminary Inquiry Shows

The congestion due to storage in the building as well as the assembling unit for various CCTV and routers may have caused the fire to spread rapidly, DCP Sharma said.

The information has not been corroborated by forensic reports yet.

The official further added, "We have sent letters to more than 10 agencies to get documents and details."

It was noted that there were workstations and offices in the building, and steel sheets were used to separate the staircase from the floors. The partitions inside the buildings were also used for storage, the DCP added.

The police are reportedly tracking the phones of those deceased/missing in the fire in order to determine their location.

What Happened?

A massive fire broke out in a three-storey building near West Delhi's Mundka metro station on Friday, 13 May, killing 27 people and injuring 12 others. Both Harish Goel and Varun Goel were arrested a day after the incident but the owner of the building, Manish Lakra, was absconding to avoid his arrest.

Subsequently, a police team was constituted, which tracked down his location and Lakra was arrested from Ghevra Mod in west Delhi, which is near the Haryana-Delhi border, on 15 May.

During a preliminary inquiry, it was revealed that Lakra was present at his residence on the top floor at the time of the incident.

Lakra had switched off and destroyed his mobile phone so that he could not be located. "However, we pressurised his friends and family members which ultimately led to the revelation of his location," the DCP said.

"When we arrested him, he was trying to flee to Haridwar," the police officer said, adding, he had also collected money from one of his friends while he was absconding.

(With inputs from ANI.)

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Edited By :Tejas Harad
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