Home CITY UPDATES Chikkaballapura quarry blast: Five people held, two cops suspended

Chikkaballapura quarry blast: Five people held, two cops suspended

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BENGALURU:

Five people have been arrested in connection with the blast at a quarry in Chikkaballapura in which six people were killed, officials said.

Two police officials have also been suspended in connection with the case,they said.

Among those arrested are Raghavendra Reddy, one of the two partners of the quarry.

He was arrested from Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.

Accused Venkatashiva Reddy

Others arrested are said to be employees linked to the quarry. They are- Venkatashiva Reddy, Praveen, Mohammed Riyaz Ansari (driver) and Madhusudan Reddy, police said.

G S Nagaraj, another partner of the quarry, is still on the run, and police are looking for him.

Gudibande police station circle inspector Manjunath and sub-inspector Gopal Reddy were kept under suspension pending inquiry, on charges of dereliction of duty, officials said.

According to senior officials, despite earlier complaints against owners of the company involved in quarrying for illegal blasting and storage of explosives, the police officials had failed to arrest them.

Six people were killed when the gelatin sticks they were trying to hide exploded accidentally at a stone quarry site at a village in Chikkaballapura district early Tuesday.

The incident comes close on the heels of a similar blast at a quarry site in Shivamogga on January 22, which left six dead.

Chikkaballapura district incharge minister K Sudhakar said the owners had instructed the workers to shift the explosives to a remote place fearing action by authorities who were on a drive inspecting mining sites and quarries after the Shivamogga incident.

Besides, a case was already booked against them after a raid recently.

The unfortunate incident took place when the explosives were being shifted, the minister said.

During preliminary investigation, police came to know that the explosives were stored in a place about 1500 metres from the quarry and after the recent raid, the owners had instructed the workers to dispose it in the nearby forest, he said.

‘As per the statement of the driver who had survived this blast and experts who inspected the spot, the workers had lit a campfire and disposed the explosives nearby which has led this incident,’ the minister added.

Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh Nirani said there was no question of shielding anyone involved in the case.

‘The culprits will be punished as per the law.

Government will not tolerate illegal activities and the guilty must pay the price for playing with the lives of innocent people.We will take action based on the probe report,’ he said. PTI

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