Meerut: The Uttar Pradesh police on Sunday arrested a notorious criminal from Meerut, who had furnished his fake death certificate around 15 years ago. The accused has been identified as Aniraj Singh, the prime accused of the 2006 Meerut fire tragedy. After the accident, the organizers of the fair were booked by the police but the prime accused, Singh, who was given a life sentence by the Supreme Court, failed to appear before the court and was declared an absconder. But after almost 15 years of the mishap, Uttar Pradesh police managed to nab the accused on Sunday from Meerut and recorded his statement. According to police officials, the accused came out of jail on parole for a few days in 2004 and despite the passing of the scheduled day, Singh did not appear before the court. Following this, police launched a manhunt to nab the criminal but in vain.
Later, the family members of Singh furnished his death certificate in the court through an advocate and in accordance with the order, police stopped investigation regarding the same. “A few days ago, IG Praveen Kumar got information regarding Aniraj Singh and on the basis of reliable inputs, the police team conducted raids in several places. After a few days of search, police arrested Singh from Mahavirpur village. Almost 16 years of absconding, Singh lived Gurugram, Noida, Meerut, Rudrapur and he changed his name to avoid arrest,” an official said. “A pistol, live cartridges have been seized from him. During interrogation, it was found that to avoid life imprisonment, he had made a fake death certificate and was working as a security guard in Uttarakhand’s Rudrapur with his wife and children. The fake certificate shows that Singh died in the Victoria park fire mishap,” the official said.
The 2006 Meerut Fire tragedy occurred on the evening of 10 April 2006 in which around 67 people were killed. The fire spread through a consumer fair in Victoria Park in the city. At the time, when the fire broke out about 2000 people were at the site of the incident. The incident also led to a stampede-like situation that ended in tragedy. The Supreme Court on 31 July 2014 appointed a one-member commission headed by former Justice SB Sinha (of apex court) to probe the 2006 Meerut Fire tragedy. The SC bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra and Justice V Gopala Gowda had asked the commission to submit its report by 31 January 2015. Apart from this, the Court also ordered the Uttar Pradesh government to pay an interim compensation of five lakh and two lakh rupees to family members of the deceased and seriously injured respectively.