Thursday, Aug 11, 2022

Mundka Fire: Building Owner Enjoyed Protection From BJP Leaders, Claims AAP

Senior AAP leader Durgesh Pathak also showed some pictures in which the building owner was seen with some BJP leaders.

Durgesh Pathak.
AAP leader Durgesh Pathak PTI

The AAP on Sunday held the BJP responsible for the death of 27 people in Mundka fire incident, alleging that the "illegal industrial activities" were going on in the building as its owner Manish Lakra enjoyed protection from the saffron party leaders.

Lakra was arrested on Sunday in connection with the massive fire, two days after the incident.

Addressing a press conference here, senior Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Durgesh Pathak also showed some pictures in which Lakra was seen with some BJP leaders, including former mayor of the North Delhi Municipal Corporation.

"Lakra is a BJP man. That's why MCD gave him protection and illegal industrial activities continued in the building," Pathak charged, adding "BJP and its leaders are responsible for the death of 27 people in the tragic incident of fire in the building. They were all hand in glove".

The AAP leader demanded that a thorough probe be conducted into the case and the strictest action be taken against all those responsible for the incident, including those from the BJP who gave protection to Lakra and let the illegal activities continue in the building in violation of rules.

He said the BJP-ruled civic body gave factory licence for industrial activities in the building but later revoked it in 2017 after "they probably realised that it was wrong to allow industrial activities there".

In 2019, Pathak said, a Supreme Court-appointed committee sealed the building.

"Even today, the building is officially sealed on papers. But the illegal industrial activities continued there in violation of all the rules. It’s because Lakra enjoyed protection from the BJP leaders," Pathak said.

He also claimed the building was used as the BJP's campaign office during the 2015 assembly polls in Delhi.

"All the BJP leaders, including (Delhi BJP president) Adesh Gupta, were well aware of the illegal industrial activities in the building despite it was officially sealed," he alleged.

The BJP and its leaders have also allowed such illegal activities at various other locations in Delhi "for their greed", the AAP leader said.

Earlier in the day, the Delhi Police arrested Lakra in connection with the Mundka fire incident. "We received information that Manish Lakra was going towards Haridwar in Uttarakhand. We laid a trap and nabbed him from Ghevra Mod," Sameer Sharma, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer), said.

Lakra used to live on the fourth floor of the commercial building, and he managed to escape to the adjacent building, along with his family members, when the fire broke out, the police said. 

The police have recovered 27 bodies and identified 14 of them as women and six as men so far, they said.