The Morbi police have sought documents and official communication regarding agreements between government authorities and the Oreva Group for Jhulto Pul, the suspension bridge that collapsed on October 30, killing 135 people. On November 4, the cops sent a notice to the collectorates of Rajkot and Morbi, as well as the Morbi municipality, requesting details on the agreements.
PA Zala, deputy superintendent of Morbi police and the investigating officer in the case said that “For the collectorate offices, we will send a reminder again in case of failure to produce the documents within 24 hours. We plan to issue summons under CrPC 160 to the Morbi municipality in case they do not present the said documents”.
Meanwhile, the police reportedly sought an in-camera procedure on Saturday when they brought four of the nine accused before a magisterial court. The court, however, denied the request. According to a police official involved with the inquiry, “the open court proceedings from the last remand hearing alerted the accused and the suspects and Oreva (Group) shut down its office and was locked thereafter.”
A local crime branch official also mentioned that the FSL report is expected in the next three working days, and that suspects will be investigated further “based on the findings in the report, coupled with findings from the documents seized and the chief officer of Morbi municipality’s statement under CrPC section 154.”
At the same time, the police have recovered documents related to the work undertaken by the subcontractor fabricating company in 2007 and 2022 for the bridge. “We have recovered documents pertaining to the purchase, the work order and the contract (signed between Oreva and Dev Prakash).”
However, Dev Prakash Fabrication, the company engaged by Oreva Group to restore the bridge, did not undertake any “scientific assessment of structural stability”. The company is owned by the father-son duo–contractors Prakash Lalji Parmar (63) and Devang Prakash Parmar.
According to police, the bridge’s renovation in 2007 was subcontracted to the same owners, despite the fact that at that time the company was called ‘Vishwakarma’. Police have also collected purchase and payment papers from Oreva, according to police testimony before the magistrate court on Saturday.
Also Read: Builders Can’t Avoid Govt Approval But Govt Itself Can