Contractor Ajay Tyagi, the main accused in the crematorium roof case that claimed 25 lives in Uttar Pradesh's Muradnagar last Sunday has revealed that he got the contract for the construction by allegedly paying Rs 16 lakh as a bribe and also admitted that he used sub-standard material in the construction, The New Indian Express reported.
The roof had collapsed at around 11:30 am at the Ukhlarsi cremation ground, when the last rites of a 65-year-old man were being conducted. About 50-60 people were present at the funeral and many were trapped under the debris. A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) was deployed to carry out relief and rescue work.
The Ghaziabad cops had registered an FIR under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt to any person by doing any act rashly or negligently as to endanger human lives), 338 (causing grievous hurt by an act endangering life or personal safety of others), 427 (causing damages) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) of IPC against a number of persons including Muradnagar Municipal Board's Executive Officer Niharika Singh, JE, supervisor, contractor and others.
Tyagi, who arrested on Monday night, has been sent to jail on a 14-day judicial remand on Tuesday, January 5. Besides Tyagi, one of his aides Sanjay Garg was also arrested on Tuesday and put behind bars. So far, at least five people have been arrested.
Tyagi told the police that he used to run M/S Ajay Tyagi Contractors, a construction firm. He revealed that he received the Rs 55 lakh contract for the beautification of the cremation ground and construction of the shed in February 2020 through an online tender process.
He allegedly got Rs 26 lakh as the first instalment of the contract amount in March 2020 and the second instalment of Rs 16 lakh in July 2020.
He said that he had roped in another firm, AS Constructions, owned by his acquaintance Sanjay Garg to meet the deadline. Tyagi allegedly admitted that he had used sub-standard material in the construction of the shed.
On Wednesday, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had issued orders to set up a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case. The state government has also ordered the Ghaziabad district administration to provide fee exemption to the children of those families who lost their earning members in the accident.
CM Yogi also warned that in case the construction quality of any government project was sub-standard anywhere in the state, the district magistrate and divisional commissioner will be pulled up along with contractors and engineers.