Dombivli blast: Factory owner sent to police custody till May 29

Thane, May 25 (IANS): A Thane court on Saturday sent the owner of Amudan Chemical Pvt. Ltd. in Dombivli, where a huge blast-cum-blaze killed 13 persons on May 23, to police custody till May 29.

Malay P. Mehta (38), the owner-director of the chemical factory, was produced before the Magistrate in Kalyan after his arrest from Thane on Friday.

His aged mother Malati P. Mehta, who was detained in Nashik, has been let off since she had no involvement in the routine affairs of the factory located in the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation complex, an official said.

Seeking a 14-day remand for Mehta, the police argued that they wanted to visit the factory premises and find out if more people or company officials were involved in the massive tragedy that left 13 dead and over 60 others injured, besides causing huge damage to the unit and its surroundings.

Challenging the police's contention, Mehta’s lawyers said that the company had adhered to all the rules and regulations and had all the necessary permissions and clearances.

After listening to both sides, the Magistrate sent Mehta to police custody till next Wednesday.

Soon after the tragedy, Thane police had lodged an FIR against the company owners, directors, managers, and supervisory staff under various sections including the stringent Section 304 of the IPC that pertains to culpable homicide not amounting to murder, and handed over the investigations to the Ulhasnagar Crime Branch.

The police have also slapped charges under the Explosive Substances Act, and the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act. The company has been accused of not taking adequate precautions in mixing chemicals, the final products, the storage protocols, etc.

The impact of the blast was so severe that the window panes of many buildings in the vicinity were shattered, several big and small structures were shaken in a radius of more than 3-4 km, while roads, electric poles, and vehicles were also damaged in the locality.

A day later, the locals faced another problem as a strong stench of chemicals and burnt metal and a layer of ash covered a large area.

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Leader of Opposition Ambadas Danve, and leaders of various political parties have visited the blast site to take stock of the rescue and relief operations.



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