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Lucknow: Levana Hotel Fire, 15 Officers From 4 Departments Suspended On CM’s Order

Lucknow: Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, issued an order on Saturday to suspend 15 officers from four different ministries and take action against four retired officers, five days after a fire at a hotel in Lucknow claimed the lives of four people.

The CM’s directive came a day after the state Home Department received the report from the two-person investigation panel, which included Lucknow Police Commissioner SB Shiradkar and Commissioner (Lucknow Division) Roshan Jacob.

A government spokesperson said that the officers from the Home, Energy, Appointment, Housing and Urban Planning, Lucknow Development Authority (LDA), and Excise departments will be the targets of the operation.

Officers who will be suspended

The currently employed officers will be suspended, and a departmental investigation will be launched against them. Action would be taken against retired officials in accordance with the law, the spokesperson said, adding that these officers have already been conclusively proved to have committed errors and displayed negligence. Sushil Yadav, Yogendra Prasad, and Vijay Kumar Singh, Chief Fire Officers from the Home Department, Assistant Director (Electrical Safety) Vijay Kumar Rao, Junior Engineer Ashish Kumar Mishra, Sub-Divisional Officer Rajesh Kumar Mishra from the Energy Department, and PCS officer Mahendra Kumar are among the officers who will be suspended.

Assistant engineer Rakesh Mohan, junior engineer Jitendra Nath Dubey, junior engineer Ravindra Kumar Srivastava, junior engineer Jaiveer Singh, and another officer Ram Pratap are among the other LDA officers who have been suspended.

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Action against former Lucknow district excise officer Santosh Kumar Tiwari, excise inspector sector-1 in Lucknow Amit Kumar Srivastava, and deputy excise commissioner of Lucknow Division Jainendra Upadhyay has been ordered by the excise department.

Chief fire officer Abhaynath Pandey, LDA executive engineer Arun Kumar Singh, executive engineer Om Prakash Mishra, and junior engineer Ganeshi Dutt Singh are among the retired officers who are being investigated.

Several departments’ officials were reportedly held accountable by the two-member investigation panel for failing to carry out their duties properly because the hotel, Levana Suites, had been open for business for the previous five years without having the required paperwork in order, according to sources.

Four guests, including two women, lost their lives in the early-morning Monday fire at the Levana Suites in Hazratganj’s business district, while ten others were hurt.

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Three people have been detained by the police thus far: Sagar Srivastava, the hotel manager, and cousins Rahul and Rohit Agarwal, both hotel proprietors. They have been charged with violating IPC Sections 304 (negligence-related death) and 308. (attempt to commit culpable homicide).

Levana Suites sealed off

After the fire, the LDA sealed off Levana Suites after discovering that the hotel’s map had not been approved, despite the fact that it had been open for business for the previous five years.

Similar to this, the investigation team discovered that the hotel received a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the fire department despite the absence of fire safety management there.

Police said in the FIR filed against the hotel’s owners and manager that they had not made adequate preparations for guests to leave in the event of an unfavourable situation. “The building’s electrical connection was made carelessly, and there was no secure arrangement for storing gas cylinders… People became stuck inside the hotel building because of the iron grilles on the exterior. To access the building and save people, the firefighters had to hack through the iron grilles, according to the FIR.

The Chief Medical Officer had earlier stated that people had died of suffocation, despite the fact that the ground-floor kitchen of the hotel is where the fire is thought to have started.

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