Factory owner ‘did not keep word’ to residents - Mandi Gobindgarh News

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Saturday, September 14, 2019

Factory owner ‘did not keep word’ to residents

Factory owner ‘did not keep word’ to residents

Batala, September 13

An affidavit is doing the rounds in the city, in which Jaspal Singh, the owner of the firecracker unit that spelt disaster leading to 24 deaths and injuries to several on September 4, had allegedly promised the residents living nearby that he would “neither store nor manufacture firecracker” at his garage.

He had also given an assurance that he would store the raw material at a place 300m away on the Kahnuwan road. A copy of the affidavit is with The Tribune.

SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia questioned as to why the administration and the police refused to take action when he reneged on the agreement and actually started manufacturing crackers. On January 21, 2017, when there was a blast in his unit, leading to the death of one person, residents had laid siege to the unit and asked Jaspal to shut it down. Three days later, the owner managed to calm down the irate neighbours by submitting a written assurance in which he told them that he would never manufacture explosives.

The anger of the residents faded away then. However, barely a week later, an eerie silence started prevailing in the alleys of the neighborhood when it became clear that Jaspal was up to his old tricks and that crackers were being manufactured in large quantity.

Ashish Pal Singh Sandhu, who lost his wife and son in the September 4 blasts, claimed that he had informed the SDM and the police that the owner had gone back on his agreement and “that an explosion could occur anytime.” “Jaspal and his sons were well connected and just a week after he had given an affidavit, he started to manufacture crackers,” said Jashandeep Singh, a local.— TNS

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