Gujarat: Rajkot Police Commissioner Transferred After Gamezone Fire Tragedy

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Gujarat: Rajkot Police Commissioner Transferred After Gamezone Fire Tragedy

| Updated: May 27, 2024 20:11

Days after a deadly fire at the TRP gaming zone in Rajkot killed 30 people, including 10 children, Raju Bhargava, the Rajkot Police Commissioner, has been transferred. As of yet, he has not been assigned to a new position.

The Special Commissioner of Police from Ahmedabad, Brajesh Kumar Jha, will be assuming his position.

In addition to Bhargava, Vidhi Choudhary, Rajkot City’s Additional Commissioner of Police (Administration, Traffic, and Crime), has been transferred as well and has not yet been assigned a new position. Mahendra Bagria, the ex-deputy Inspector General for the Kutchh-Bhuj (West) zone, assumes her post.

Furthermore, Jagdish Bangwara, the former superintendent of the Central Prison in Vadodara, has replaced Sudhirkumar Desai, the deputy commissioner of police (Rajkot City, Zone 2).

Desai, like Bhargava and Choudhary, has not yet been assigned to a new position.

The transfers were made just hours after the state government and the Rajkot civil body came under criticism from the Gujarat High Court for failing to provide assurance that the gaming zones—three in Ahmedabad, one in Rajkot, and one that burned—had the necessary licences, including those related to construction codes and fire safety.

When the court learned that the two gaming zones in Rajkot had been running for more than 24 months each without the necessary authorizations, it became furious and stated that it could no longer “trust” the state administration, which is governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party.

“This has been going on for two and a half years (referring to the Rajkot gaming zone). Are we to assume you turned a blind eye? What do you and your followers do?” the court asked. 

According to Bhargava’s statement on Sunday, the Rajkot gaming zone was granted a licence by the local police in November of last year, and that licence was extended until December 31, 2024.

In addition, the court expressed grief for the loss of children, telling the government that “this incident is an eye-opener. System’s eyes have opened after the death of innocent children.”

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