Kutch Native Bhavesh Bhinde Arrested In Hoarding Collapse Case

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Kutch Native Bhavesh Bhinde Arrested In Hoarding Collapse Case

| Updated: May 17, 2024 12:32

Bhavesh, whose family hails from Kutch in Gujarat, is a rape accused

Bhavesh Bhinde, whose family hails from Kutch in Gujarat, has become a household name for all the wrong reasons. He was arrested by the Mumbai police on Thursday for culpable homicide not amounting to murder in relation to the hoarding collapse which led to a loss of 16 lives. 

A huge hoarding erected by Bhavesh’s firm Ego Media Pvt Ltd in Pant Nagar, Ghatkopar East, collapsed on May 13. The illegal hoarding, which measured 120×120 feet, injured 74 people as well.

Apart from two criminal cases – one for allegedly raping one of his colleagues and another for cheating, there are over 20 cases of violations registered against Bhinde’s firm under relevant sections of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888.

Bhinde was granted pre-arrest bail by the Bombay High Court on March 13 this year in the rape case after the Mulund police informed the court that they did not wish to arrest him.

The hoarding was beyond the permissible limit (40×40 feet), but when it was put up in 2021, Bhinde bragged to his friends that he was now the “King of Asia Ghatkopar”.

Big dreams

Born in a middle-class family, Mulund resident Bhavesh Bhinde, 51, dreamed of making it big from his early years. He stopped his formal education after Class X. He started out with small jobs at an advertising agency in Grant Road. In many Facebook posts, he said he has also worked as an actor and model, and that during the lockdown months he gave dance classes online.

Bhinde always wanted to become a businessman. He understood the hoardings and advertising business, as he had worked in an advertising agency. He quit his job in 1999 to start his own firm, Guju Ads. 

As he prospered, he started getting friendly with bureaucrats and politicians. In just a few years he became a top businessman, owning over 500 hoardings across the city – mostly on leased railway and civic properties.

In 2009, he contested the assembly elections as an independent candidate from Mulund constituency against veteran BJP leader Sardar Tarasingh. It was an attempt to divert Gujarati votes and indirectly help the late BJP legislator’s opponents. But he failed to achieve his goal. 

By now Guju Ads had advertising hoardings at railway platforms and premises. However, the railway administration blacklisted the company in 2018 because of several violations and complaints lodged by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya and others. 

This led to business losses but Bhinde started a new venture, Ego Media Pvt Ltd, through which he gained space in the commercial hoardings business. Today, the company is said to have over 200 hoardings across the city.

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