Prime accused in Chickballapur quarry blast case arrested

The quarry at Hirenagavalli village in Chikkaballapur district   | Photo Credit: Sudhakara Jain

The Chickballapur police arrested the prime accused in the quarry blast case — G.S. Nagaraja, a partner in Shirdi Sai Aggregates and Bhramara Vasini M-Sanders — late on Wednesday.

Mr. Nagaraja, a BJP leader from Gudibande, had been absconding since six people were killed in the explosion near the quarry on Tuesday. He was arrested from Hosur, Tamil Nadu, sources said.

Mr. Nagaraja popularly known as BJP Nagaraja, was recently appointed as a member of the advisory board of Southern Railway. Following a police raid and seizure of a vehicle from the quarry area on Monday, Mr. Nagaraja allegedly instructed his employees to dispose of the illegally procured and stored explosives, while doing which the explosion occurred, according to sources.

With this, the total number of arrests in the case have gone up to six, including all the partners in the quarry and crusher unit. One of the partners, Ismail, died two months ago, sources said. The Chickballapur police have also detained one Ganesh from Hosur, who regularly carried out explosions at the quarry but allegedly was not involved in the Tuesday night’s incident, for interrogation. A team from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) now tasked with the probe into the case, visited the spot on Thursday and took over the case.

Meanwhile, the local police have come under severe criticism from local villagers as even three days after the blast, charred body parts of those who died in the accident are still found lying around, offering a very disturbing sight. “The police have not even combed the area properly and collected all the remains. That was the bare respect to be given to the dead,” said activist Ravi Krishna Reddy, who visited the spot on Thursday.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 1:18:58 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/chikkaballapur-quarry-blast-prime-accused-arrested/article33930176.ece

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