Nagpur: Hundreds of shoppers who visited at Empress Mall on Sunday experienced a harrowing time as they remained stranded inside the mall for hours on end, after relatives of the three labourers who died in a well on the mall’s premises created scenes by bringing the bodies there after post-mortem. The relatives kept the bodies on the floor at the entrance and demanded compensation for Rs 25 lakh each for the kin of the victims.
The bodies were brought to the mall around 4.15pm when there were hundreds of shoppers inside. Around 6pm, cops closed entry to the mall. All the shops were shut by 7.30pm.
Some of the local politicians, who accompanied the relatives, later arranged to keep the bodies in freezers to prevent them from decomposing.
Many shoppers were stranded in the mall for almost two hours as cops had cordoned off the place. Police assured the shoppers that the situation was under control and later provided them a safe passage out. A senior police official said that police personnel of six police stations were summoned to the spot.
Sources said the relatives left the mall with the bodies around 10.15pm following assurance regarding compensation from the management. “The management gave Rs50,000 each to the families of the deceased as immediate relief,” the sources said.
Ganeshpeth police had on Saturday night booked KSL industries chairman Pravin Tayal and mall manager Khusboo Agrawal along with other three, identified as Pradip Bhawte, Sameer Takone and Komal Raijode, for culpable homicide not amounting to murder. Tayal and management had yet not responded to media.
Sources claimed that Union Minister Nitin Gadkari has promised Rs2 lakh each for the family of the deceased. “Compensation will also be provided from chief minister’s relief fund,” the sources said.
The relatives claimed that the victims were the only bread earner in their families. One of the deceased, Deepak Gauthe was a carpenter who is survived by wife Archana, son Rakesh, 12, and daughter Nidhi, 15. Another deceased Chandrashekhar Barapatre leaves behind wife Ranjana, son Adarsh, 16, and daughter Payal, 14. The third deceased Ajay Garodi is survived by wife Nanda and two sons Bhushan, 8, and Yuvraj, 11.