CID probe ordered into Jessop factory fires in Bengal

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Kolkata, Oct 18 (IANS) The West Bengal government on Tuesday ordered a CID probe into fire incidents in the country’s oldest engineering firm Jessop’s factory near suburban Dumdum.

“There have been two incidents of fire in the Jessop factory within a week. The West Bengal government has ordered a CID probe today (Tuesday). We will investigate and action will be taken against those involved in the matter,” said state police’s Criminal Investigation Department Deputy Inspector General Bharat Lal Meena.

The locals and Jessop workers have alleged lack of maintenance and hinted that sabotage was the reason behind the repeated instances of fire at the factory premises in North 24-Parganas district.

“It seems there is a mystery behind the mishaps in the Jessop factory. These accidents can be intentional. We are not sure what the owners of Jessop are planning to do with the factory land,” said state Information Technology Minister and local lawmaker Bratya Basu while inspecting the factory premises on Tuesday.

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The police said they would tighten the security to avoid recurrence of such incidents.

“The state government, local municipality and police department would now take control of the factory’s security. We will post a combat force with non-lethal weapons in the factory premises,” said Barrackpore city Police Commissioner Tanmay Roy Chowdhury.

“The factory owners did not pay heed to the Calcutta High Court order to ensure adequate lighting in the factory premises and repair the boundary walls. More than 70 places in the boundary wall are broken. Police will take legal action against the authorities for lack of supervision,” he said.

“The state government has taken over Jessop. We don’t have much control there. Scope of doing anything is very limited. State government has posted police camp,” a company spokesperson said.

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Ahead of the state assembly elections this year, the West Bengal government passed a bill to take over the Pawan Kumar Ruia group-controlled ailing industrial units — Dunlop India and the 228-year old Jessop.



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