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Flyover collapse: 3 including Panda Infra owner sent to judicial custody

Bhubaneswar: After arresting the owner of construction company Panda Infra, Pratap Panda, police today arrested one state government engineer and another official of a private construction firm in connection with the collapse of the under-construction flyover near Bomikhal in Bhubaneswar on Sunday, which left a man dead and 12 others injured. All three were forwarded to court following which they have been sent to judicial custody, said police sources.

Assistant engineer in the Works Department, Kishore Rout was arrested after he surrendered at the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Police Commissioner Y B Khurania said.

Police also arrested Vipul Chakraborty, Project Manager in Panda Infra Projects, which was executing the construction work of the flyover project, said Khurania.

With this, the total number of persons arrested in connection with the mishap rose to four. Bansidhar Praharaj, deputy executive engineer in Works Department and Pratap Panda, Director of Panda Infra Projects, were arrested yesterday.

Also Read: The flyover that crushed this dad’s heart too!

Police have already registered a case against two other directors of Panda Infra Projects, Santosh Panda and Sujata Panda in connection with the collapse of the under-construction bridge.

Efforts are on to trace two others booked in the case, and if necessary, police may issue a look-out circular, Khurania added.

Those named in the case have been booked under different sections of the IPC, including Section 304, at Laxmisagar police station, he said.

Police also booked them under Section 337 of IPC (causing hurt by an act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt) and 34 (criminal act).

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While Prahjaraj and Rout were suspended soon after the mishap on Sunday, Executive Engineer Dukhabandhu Behera was placed under suspension later for prima facie lapses, a senior official said.

A high-level probe is in progress into the incident by a committee comprising Chief Engineer (Designs) and Chief Engineer (Roads), Works Department Secretary N K Pradhan told reporters.

The committee has been asked to submit its report within a week.

Stern action would be taken against those found guilty, Pradhan said, adding, the project was under the Roads and Buildings (R&B) Division-4.

On the other hand, opposition parties have blamed the BJD-led Odisha government for the mishap and targeted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is also in charge of the Works Department.

Also Read: Flyover collapse leaves one dead in Bhubaneswar; CM announces ex-gratia

The Congress and the BJP, which demanded resignation of the chief minister over the incident, also stalled the state Assembly for several hours yesterday.

Both the Opposition parties have also alleged that a former state minister had favoured the construction firm, which was once blacklisted for security issues and that its case was pending in court.

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