The Delhi unit of the Congress on Sunday demanded a judicial probe into the Bawana factory fire that led to the death of at least 17 persons.
“We demand a judicial inquiry into the fire in Bawana industrial area in west Delhi on Saturday evening since the magisterial inquiry ordered by the state government is meant to save its own departments. We also demand the judicial inquiry for a fair probe,” Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken told reporters after visiting the spot in west Delhi.
As many as 17 persons, including 10 women, were burnt to death or asphyxiated and 30 others were injured in the fire in a plastic factory warehouse, which was also used to store firecrackers.
The Congress leader said that there should also be an inquiry into the functioning of all Delhi government departments concerned, like the Delhi Fire Service, land, industries, and pollution, as well as the municipal corporations.
The former Union Minister also condemned North Delhi Mayor Preeti Agarwal for what he called her “insensitive statement”.
“She spoke insensitively. She has no moral right to continue on the post and the Bharatiya Janata Party must take action against her,” Maken said.
Maken was referring to Agarwal’s alleged video wherein she is heard saying: “The licence of this factory is with us. That’s why we cannot speak on the issue.”
The Congress leader said that labourers at the factory told him that the premises was locked from outside when the fire broke out.
“There was rampant unauthorised construction on the premises, which obstructed possible escape routes,” he alleged.
He said over 50 labourers were working on the premises on Saturday, which is a holiday.
Hitting out at the Delhi government, Maken said that the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Bawana government hospital was also not operational for a long time.
“People told me that the ICU is lying closed for the last two months. It is saddening to learn that the hospital ICU in an industrial area was not operational. We demand that the government make the ICU operational as soon as possible,” he added.
The Delhi Police has arrested factory owner Manoj Jain after the fire.