COPS ARE GROPING IN DARK ABOUT PANDA INFRA DIRECTORS SUJATA & SANTOSH PANDA’S WHEREABOUTS
Bhubaneswar: A state government engineer and another official of a private construction firm were arrested Tuesday in the wake of the collapse of a road overbridge on Puri-Cuttack road Sunday, which left a man dead and 11 others injured.
Works department engineer Kishore Rout was arrested after he surrendered at the office of the deputy commissioner of police here, said commissioner of police YB Khurania. Police also arrested Vipul Chakraborty, project manager of Panda Infra Projects, which was executing the construction of the collapsed project, he said.
With this, the number of people arrested in connection with the mishap rose to four. Bansidhar Praharaj, deputy executive rngineer in Works Department, and Pratap Panda, director of Panda Infra Projects, were arrested Monday.
Police have registered a case against two other directors of Panda Infra Projects soon after the collapse of the under-construction bridge.
Efforts are underway to trace two others booked in the case, and if necessary, police might issue a look-out circular, Khurania said. Those named in the case have been booked under various IPC sections, including Section 304 (culpable homicide), at Laxmisagar police station, he said. Police have booked them under Section 337 of IPC (causing hurt by an act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt) and 34 (criminal act).
Forensic and engineers’ teams have visited the accident site as part of the investigation, and a police team visited the office of the construction company, they said.
While Prahjaraj and Rout were suspended after the mishap Sunday, executive engineer Dukhabandhu Behera was placed under suspension later, said a senior official.
A high-level investigation is in progress into the incident by a committee comprising chief engineer (designs) and chief engineer (Roads), Works Department secretary N K Pradhan told reporters.
The committee has been instructed to submit its report within a week. Stern action is being contemplated against those found guilty, Pradhan said, adding, the project was under the Roads and Buildings (R&B) Division-4. A 39-year-old businessman died and 11 others were injured in the accident. Opposition Congress and BJP have blamed the state government for the mishap and targeted the Chief Minister, who is in charge of the Works Department. They disrupted the proceedings of the Assembly for several hours Monday. The Opposition parties have also alleged a former state minister had favoured the construction firm, which was once blacklisted for security issues and the case is pending in court.
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