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Mumbai Police Arrests Billboard Owner Bhavesh Bhinde After Ghatkopar Hoarding Collapse

On Thursday, the Mumbai Police arrested Bhavesh Bhinde, the director of Ego Media Pvt Ltd, the advertising agency that owned the billboard which tragically collapsed in Ghatkopar on May 13. This incident resulted in the deaths of 16 people and injuries to 74 others.

The 120×120-foot hoarding, erected by Bhinde’s company in Pant Nagar, Ghatkopar East, fell after being struck by a brief spell of unseasonal rain and strong winds. The billboard, which was significantly larger than the permissible size of 40×40 feet, toppled onto a busy petrol pump, trapping nearly 100 people underneath.

The hoarding had been set up on a 10-year lease, and the company had even applied to the Limca Book of Records to have it recognized as the largest commercial hoarding in India.

Following the disaster, the Pant Nagar police charged Bhinde under multiple sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 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). Bhinde had fled the city, prompting the formation of over 10 police teams from Mumbai and Gujarat to track him down.

In addition to this incident, Bhinde faces other legal troubles. He has two other cases registered against him in Mulund, one for rape and molestation and another for cheating. The rape and molestation case was filed by a woman from his office in January this year, and although a chargesheet has been filed, Bhinde was not arrested due to an anticipatory bail granted by the Bombay High Court.

The second case dates back to 2016. Moreover, Bhinde has 21 cases of fines against him under the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, 1888, all filed before 2009. Interestingly, Bhinde also contested the assembly election as an independent candidate from the Mulund constituency in 2009.

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Author:- Apoorva Arora

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