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Mumbai billboard collapse: FIR against owner, who is a rape accused and aspiring politician
Videograb of billboard collapse in Mumbai/ courtesy: X

Mumbai billboard collapse: FIR against owner, who is a rape accused and aspiring politician

| @indiablooms | 14 May 2024, 09:07 pm

Mumbai/IBNS: After the billboard collapse during the Mumbai dust storm killed 14 and injured 74 in Ghatkopar on Monday, a case has been filed against its owner Bhavesh Bhinde for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

The owner of Ego Media, however, is no stranger to police cases and has over 20 charges against him, including one of rape.

Police officials said Bhinde is on the run and his cellphone is switched off.

The advertising agency owner had also contested the state election as an Independent candidate from the Mulund constituency in 2009.

In his affidavit filed during that time, he had said that there were 23 cases registered against him under the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act and the Negotiable Instruments Act (for bounced cheques).

In January this year, a case of rape was registered against him at the Mulund Police Station and a chargesheet has also been filed.

According to reports, Bhinde had bagged several contracts from the Indian Railways and the Mumbai civic body, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), for erecting hoardings and banners over the years.

However, he has violated the rules of both organisations several times.

Bhinde and others in his company have also been named as accused in tree-poisoning and tree-cutting cases.

The hoarding that fell on the fuel station in Ghatkopar on Monday was a 120X120-foot structure. It made it to the Limca Book of Records owing to its huge size and the BMC has said it does not allow billboards over 40X40 feet in size.

"We have ordered action against all illegal hoardings in the city. We are starting today. A case has been filed in this case as no permission had been given for the hoarding. A complaint was also received that some trees had been cut so this hoarding could be visible. We have filed a case in this regard too," BMC Commissioner Bhushan Gagrani told reporters.

While Bhinde's agency has claimed it had received permission from the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Railways), BMC officials have said a nod from the municipal corporation is also necessary for all billboards in areas under its jurisdiction.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde has announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to the kin of the deceased and has said that the government will bear the cost of treatment for those injured in the tragic incident.

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