Workers’ safety had been compromised, says Labour Minister
A day after the horrendous fire, which claimed six lives in a furniture unit at Kadubugere Cross on Magadi Road, Ramanagaram police arrested Amit Rathore, proprietor of S.R. Seating Systems, and godown owner Ramakrishna.
The duo was arrested in the evening after being questioned, police said.
The key of the shutter, which had been locked from outside, trapping the six migrant workers, has not yet been traced.
In another development, senior officials of the Karnataka State Electrical Inspectorate, who inspected the charred premises, have found that the unit did not have its own power supply.
“Field officers found that there was no power supply at all for the unit. Going by the preliminary investigation, it seems unlikely that the fire was initiated by a short circuit. However we can only point out the exact cause once we get the report [in two days].”
On Tuesday, Labour Minister B.N. Bache Gowda, who visited the spot along with senior department officials, sought strict action against Mr. Rathore and Mr. Ramakrishna for not taking required permission from respective departments, thus compromising workers’ safety.
In a communiqué, he said the team observed that the unit — in which labourers had been working for the past three months — had no safety precautions. He also said the modalities of compensation to the dead men’s families would be discussed with the Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar.
Meanwhile, the six bodies were flown to Lucknow Tuesday evening from where they will be taken to Bijnor district. Mr. Rathore made the arrangements, the police said.