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