Shimla, February 24
The issue of the blast in an illegal cracker factory in Una echoed in the Vidhan Sabha today with the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress trading charges over shielding anti-social elements indulging in illegal activities.
The issue came into focus as Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur made a statement in the House on the Una blast. He said no illegal activities would be allowed in the state, irrespective of political ideology. Those responsible for the blast at the cracker factory would be brought to book.
‘No one being shielded’
There is no question of shielding anyone and a report has been sought within a week so that there is no recurrence of such an unfortunate mishap in which six people died and 14 others were injured. —Jai Ram Thakur, Chief Minister
The Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri engaged in heated exchanges as both accused leaders of the other’s party of having links with the liquor mafia. “We are in public life and people we do not even know can take pictures with us. So, circulating pictures with any of the guilty is no proof of having links or sheltering such anti-social elements,” said Thakur.
“There is no question of shielding anyone and a report has been sought within a week so that there is no recurrence of such an unfortunate mishap in which six people died and 14 others were injured,” he said.
The Chief Minister said an inquiry had been entrusted to the Divisional Commissioner while a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the police had been constituted in the case.
Thakur said that such a mishap should not have taken place as the agencies concerned should have checked the illegal unit. He added that he had directed the Deputy Commissioner, and the industry, labour and police departments to keep a check on all illegal activities.
“My contention is that the illegal cracker factory could not have functioned without the connivance of the officials responsible for checking industrial units. The clearance was given to the unit in single window so how come the labour or industries department did not check it,” he said.
CPM MLA Rakesh Singha questioned the ignorance of the agencies about the existence of the cracker factory. “Himachal certainly wants investment but not at the cost of corpses. So, it is high time that the Industries Department gets into action and checks all such illegally functioning units,” he said.
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