Bomikhal Tragedy: Works Department Assistant Engineer And Panda Infra Project Manager Arrested

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Bhubaneswar: One more state government engineer and the Project Manager of private construction firm Panda Infra were arrested by the Twin City police today in connection with the collapse of a flyover at Bomikhal here on September 10 which left a man dead and about 17 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 Y B 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 the ill-fated day.

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 on September 11.

Police have already registered cases 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 notice, Y B 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 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 Bansidhar and Kishore were suspended soon after the mishap, 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 N K Pradhan told reporters. The committee has been asked to submit its report within a week.

Stern action would be taken against those found guilty, Dukhabandhu 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 on September 11.

Both the Opposition parties have also alleged that the former Law  Minister Arun Sahoo had shown undue favours to Panda Infra Project which was once blacklisted for security issues and that its case was pending in court.

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