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Chikkaballapur blast: Five, including mine owners, arrested and 2 cops suspended

Mangalore Today News Network

Chikkaballapu, Feb 24, 2021:      The Karnataka police have arrested five persons in connection with the accidental explosion in a quarry in Karnataka’s Chikkaballapur district, which killed six people on Tuesday. Three partners of the mining firm are among those arrested. Two police officers, too, have been suspended for failing to take action against the owners of the mine despite complaints.



According to the police, the arrested are Raghavendra Reddy, Venkatashiva Reddy and Madhusudhan Reddy, who are partners of Sri Bhramaravasini Sanders while Praveen is a manager of this company and Mohammed Riyaz Ansari is the driver of the vehicle who drove the victims along with explosive materials.

The blast took place at a quarry in Hirenagavalli near Gudibande in Karnataka’s Chikkaballapur district during a bid to dispose of the explosives after authorities had raided the mine on February 7 and 21. Six people, including a Nepalese citizen, lost their lives while attempting to dispose of explosives hidden around the crusher.

Superintendent of Police Mithun Kumar GK told IANS that two police officers, Gudibande police station inspector Manjunath MN and sub-inspector GR Gopal Reddy, have been suspended. He said these officers had failed to act "in time" against the owners of Bhramaravasini Sanders for illegal blasting and storage of explosives. "Since the police officials failed to arrest the accused despite complaints, they were suspended," he said.

Following the incident on Tuesday, Karnataka Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who had inspected the spot, had directed Inspector General of Police (Central Range) M Chandra Shekar to form three special teams to nab the culprits. Accordingly, the IGP had formed the teams under the supervision of Chikkaballapur SP Mithun Kumar.

The SP said the police have registered a criminal case under the Explosives Act and named 14 people in the first information report (FIR).

Health Minister and District-in-charge Minister Dr K Sudhakar had said that the quarry was storing gelatin sticks illegally and in an irregular manner, which caused the explosion. Hirenagavalli is a small hamlet in Chikkaballapur district of Karnataka. It is 86 kilometres from Bengaluru.

Quarrying was stopped by the police on February 7 following complaints from the locals against the rampant use of gelatin sticks. It continued clandestinely, following which another raid was carried out a few days ago and the contractor was warned not to use gelatin anymore. The men working there went in a vehicle to dispose of the explosives early Tuesday when it went off accidentally. The driver of the vehicle, who escaped with severe injuries in the legs and hand, told the police that the victims took him along carrying a bag with them.

Courtesy:The News Minute

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