Ghatkopar hoarding collapse: Ad firm paid Rs 46 lakh to IPS officer's wife's company, claims Kirit Somaiya

23 June,2024 01:15 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

Kirit Somaiya claimed that SIT probing Ghatkopar hoarding collapse found evidence of Rs 46 lakh bribe paid by Bhavesh Bhinde to Quaiser Khalid via Mohammad Arshad Khan.

Ghatkopar hoarding collapse site/ Sameer Markande

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Bhavesh Bhinde, director of the marketing firm Ego Media Pvt Ltd, is accused by BJP politician Kirit Somaiya of paying a Rs 46 lakh bribe to a company controlled by the wife of the then-Government Railway Police (GRP) Commissioner, Quaiser Khalid. This bribe was allegedly offered in exchange for permission to erect a hoarding that fell last month, reported PTI.

According to the report, Somaiya made these allegations about Ghatkopar hoarding collapse in a series of posts on the social media platform X. He further said that Ego Media Pvt Ltd paid Rs 5 crore to various railway police and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials for permission to construct approximately two dozen illegal hoardings in the Ghatkopar and Dadar areas of Mumbai.

The former BJP MP wrote to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, urging that Quaiser Khalid be suspended for what he calls the "Ghatkopar Hoardings Scam BRIBE."

According to authorities, a large hoarding fell in Mumbai's Ghatkopar area on May 13 due to high winds and unseasonal rainfall, killing 17 people and injuring more than 70 others, the report added.

The Government Railway Police controlled the property for the hoarding, and permission to install it was granted to Ego Media Pvt Ltd for a 10-year period, with the approval of then-GRP Commissioner Quaiser Khalid, a senior official told PTI.

As per the PTI report, a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was formed to investigate the Ghatkopar hoarding collapse incident. Somaiya claimed that the SIT had found proof and bank entries showing a Rs 46 lakh bribe paid by Bhavesh Bhinde to Quaiser Khalid via Mohammad Arshad Khan. This amount was deposited into Mahapara Garments Pvt Ltd, a company formed on June 20, 2022, by Summana Quaiser Khalid, the wife of Quaiser Khalid, and Mohd Arshad K Khan.

Somaiya alleged that Bhavesh Bhinde transferred Rs 46 lakh to Mahapara Garments Pvt Ltd during 2022/23. So far, five people have been arrested in connection with the Ghatkopar hoarding tragedy. Somaiya expects action against the involved Railway Police and BMC officials, stated the PTI report.

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