Morbi bridge collapse: Police names Oreva Group MD as accused
The Gujarat Police on Friday named Jaysukh Patel, the managing director of Ajanta Manufacturing Private Limited (AMPL), OREVA Group, as one of the ten accused in the Morbi bridge collapse tragedy, in which 135 people lost their lives. A 1,262-page chargesheet was filed by Deputy Superintendent of Police P S Zala at the Morbi sessions court, according to the news agency PTI.
Why does this story matter?
- This major development came almost three months after the Morbi bridge's collapse tragedy in October.
- According to reports, Patel's Ajanta Manufacturing Ltd (Oreva Group) was in charge of the operation and maintenance of the collapsed British-era suspension bridge on the Machchhu river.
- Following the incident, Patel had gone missing and a warrant was put out for his arrest last week.
Patel is believed to be still in India: Report
While nine suspects are currently in judicial custody, Patel remains at large, with a magisterial court on January 13 issuing an arrest warrant against him. Patel is believed to be in India, as per a top police officer involved in the investigation. According to reports, the accused will receive chargesheet copies on January 30.
Final Forensic Science Laboratory report is still awaited: Police
Per the investigation team, Patel has been prosecuted as an accused, as all communications dealings related to the bridge's operations, management, and repair were directly in his purview. Notably, the documents recovered from Oreva Group's premises in Morbi showed Patel's signatures on all such papers. The final Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report is still awaited, so it wasn't attached to the chargesheet.
Key takeaways from the FSL report on bridge collapse
According to the FSL report of the incident, broken anchor pins, loose bolts, and rusty cables were not checked during the renovation work of the bridge. The report also suggested that Oreva didn't hire an expert agency to check the bridge's load-bearing capacity before it was re-opened. It also said that the group sold more than 3,000 tickets on the day of the tragedy.
Know about the 9 accused in Morbi bridge collapse case
Since the incident, nine people have been arrested, including AMPL managers Dineshbhai Dave and Deepak Parekh, three security guards at the bridge, two ticket-booking clerks, and the two private contractors who performed bridge maintenance and repair between March and October 2022. Dave and Parekh were in charge of the Samakhiali and Morbi manufacturing plants, respectively.
Know about the police FIR in Morbi bridge collapse case
An FIR has been filed under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 114 (abettor present when offence is committed), 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide not amounting to murder), and 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).