Mumbai Hoarding Collapse: Police Intensifies Hunt For Billboard Owner Bhavesh Bhinde, Last Traced To Lonavla

(MENAFN- Live Mint) "Over ten police teams from Mumbai and Gujarat are on the hunt for Bhavesh Bhinde, the director of Ego Media, which owns the over 100-foot hoarding that collapsed in Ghatkopar, killing at least 14 people, Hindustan Times reported reportedly switched off his phone and fled the city as soon as reports about deaths from the billboard collapse emerged, the report said. His phone briefly turned on in Lonavala on Tuesday evening but has since been untraceable Bhinde is Being TrackedBhinde, 51, was last traced to Lonavala on May 14. Following this lead, three police teams were dispatched to the hill station, an officer from Mumbai police's crime branch told HT. Per the daily, officers are searching for Bhinde in Lonavala, Mumbai, Pune, various airports, and his native place in Gujarat teams have also visited his home in Mulund and the homes of some of his relatives but have not found him, it added Nagar police have registered a case against Bhinde under sections 304 (culpable homicide
not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code Bhinde's Criminal HistoryBhinde has two other cases against him in Mulund: one for rape and molestation filed by a woman in his office in January 2024 and another for cheating registered in 2016 securing anticipatory bail from the Bombay High Court, a charge sheet has been filed against him, before 2009, Bhinde was fined 21 times for various violations under the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888. He also contested the Maharashtra assembly election as an independent candidate from Mulund in 2009 Responds: All Hoardings Need Structural CertificateIn response to the hoarding collapse incident, Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) Commissioner Bhushan Gagrani expressed his grief on May 16, describing it as a tragic event, ANI reported.\"This was a tragic incident in which 16 people died. The rescue operation has been completed. Here is an active petrol pump; that's why our rescue operation was delayed. All the hoardings need a structural stability certificate. They need to follow the specifications of size, foundation and the wind velocity that passes through to provide the necessary stability. Three more hoardings are being removed,\" he said added that Maharashtra Chief Minister
Eknath Shinde has ordered inspections of all hoardings Shinde has announced an ex-gratia payment of ₹5 lakh to the deceased's next of kin and assured that the government
will cover all medical expenses for the injured
, as per ANI Regarding the HoardingEgo Media Private Limited is the advertising agency that installed a 120x120-foot advertising hoarding in Pant Nagar. During the storm on May 13, it fell onto a busy petrol pump, trapping nearly 100 people underneath. Fourteen people lost their lives in the incident, and 74 others were injured
company had applied to the Limca Book of Records to recognise the hoarding as the largest commercial billboard in India. Mumbai Police
told the paper they intend to check with the Government Railway Police
(GRP), which owns the land, to see if the structure size was specified in the deal with Ego Media, the report added Mumbai police have approached several billboard contractors to understand the nature of their work and determine responsibility for the incident. While the local police are handling the case, the crime branch believes the investigation should be transferred to them due to the high death toll, it added.

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