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Flyover collapse: Two more arrested


 One more State government engineer and another official of a private construction firm were arrested today in connection with the collapse of a flyover here on Sunday, which left a man dead and 11 others injured, police said.

          Assistant Engineer in the Works Department, Kishore Rout was arrested after he surrendered at the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police here, Commissioner of Police YB Khurania said.

          Police also arrested Vipul Chakraborty, Project Manager in Panda Infra Projects, which was executing the construction work of the flyover project, in connection with the mishap that took place near Bomikhal on Sunday, he said.

          With this, the total number of people arrested in connection with the mishap rose to four. Bansidhar Praharaj, Deputy Executive Engineer in Works Department, and Pratap Panda, Director of Panda Infra Projects, were arrested yesterday.

          Police have already registered a case against two other directors of Panda Infra Projects in connection with the collapse of the under-construction bridge.

          Efforts are on to trace the two others booked in the case, and if necessary, police may issue a look-out circular, Khurania said.

          Those named in the case have been booked under different sections of the IPC, including Section 304 (culpable homicide), at Laxmisagar police station, he said.

          Police also booked them under Section 337 of IP (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 Praharaj and Rout were suspended soon after the mishap on Sunday, Executive Engineer Dukhabandhu Behera was placed under suspension later for prima facie lapses, a senior official said.

          A high-level probe is in progress into the incident by a committee comprising Chief Engineer (Designs) and Chief Engineer (Roads), Works Department Secretary NK Pradhan told reporters.

          The committee has been asked to submit its report within a week.

          Stern action would be taken against those found guilty, Pradhan said, adding, the project was under the Roads and Buildings (R&B) Division-4.

          A 39-year-old businessman was killed and 11 others were injured in the accident.

          Opposition parties have blamed the BJD-led Odisha government for the mishap and targeted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is also in charge of the Works Department.

          The Congress and the BJP, which demanded resignation of the Chief Minister over the incident, also stalled the State Assembly for several hours yesterday.

          Both the Opposition parties have also alleged that a former State minister had favoured the construction firm, which was once blacklisted for security issues and that its case was pending in court.

          Meanwhile, Pratap Panda, chief of Panda Infra, the company that had undertaken the construction work of Bomikhal flyover in the State capital, and two others were today sent to judicial custody after being produced before a local court here. The bail pleas of the three– Pratap Panda, suspended Assistant Engineer Kishore Rout and project manager Vipul Chakraborty– were rejected by the court following which they were remanded to judicial custody for 14 days.

EDITOR : Bijoy Ketan Mishra
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