Scrap dealer-rag picker nexus be­hind Deonar fires, say cops

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - HT Cor­re­spon­dent ht­metro@hin­dus­tan­times.com

MUM­BAI: The Shivaji Na­gar po­lice claimed to have solved the mys­tery of the mas­sive fires at the Deonar dump­ing ground. They have ar­rested nine scrap deal­ers, who al­legedly en­ticed rag pick­ers to burn garbage at the land­fill and then find “metal pieces” that could be bought cheaply. The po­lice, how­ever, failed to con­vince the lo­cal court and were re­fused cus­tody of the ac­cused, who have been re­manded in ju­di­cial cus­tody.

The po­lice said the ac­cused, iden­ti­fied as Mo­ham­mad Shaikh, Shamim Khan, So­hail Shaikh, Jayprakash Ya­dav, Hus­sain Shaikh, Alibaba Shaikh, Shoaib Shaikh, Umarghani Khan and Rajesh Ma­hadik (all in their thir­ties), were the men who al­legedly or­ches­trated the fire. “They asked the rag pick­ers to go in­side the dump and find metal pieces for them. For quicker and ef­fec­tive scan­ning of the par­tic­u­lar stretch, rag pick­ers were asked to set the garbage on fire to find metal. The ac­cused would buy the metal pieces from the rag pick­ers later,” said San­gram­sinh Nis­han­dar, deputy com­mis­sioner of po­lice (zone 6).

Po­lice said they ar­rested the men on the ba­sis of cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence af­ter record­ing state­ments of more than 25 rag pick­ers, in­clud­ing se­nior citizens, who have been made wit­nesses in the case.

CON­TIN­UED ON P10

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