Officials said that the Ghaziabad police on Wednesday booked the office bearers of the Apartment Owners’ Association (AOA) in connection with an incident in which three minor girls got trapped inside an elevator for about 25 minutes on the eleventh floor of a high-rise in Crossings Republik Township, officials said.
The event occurred on Tuesday, and following a complaint from the girl’s father, a charge has been filed against Chitra Chaturvedi, president of Assotech Nest AOA, and Abhay Jha, AOA secretary.
Three young girls, ages 8 to 9, can be seen waving for help in a video of the incident that was taken from CCTV footage and went viral on social media.
The girls are seen on the video sobbing, frightened, and pressing the elevator buttons after it becomes stuck. The toddlers can also be seen in the footage struggling to push open the lift’s doors.
The FIR was filed in response to a complaint made by Shivam Gehlot, the father of one of the girls, who claimed that the developers were negligent in their maintenance and named the two AOA office holders.
Additionally, the housing society’s residents claimed that inadequate maintenance caused the lift to malfunction.
Following the complaint, a FIR was filed at the Crossings Republik police station late on Wednesday night under IPC sections 287 (for careless conduct with respect to machinery) and 336 (for hasty or negligent act endangering human life or the personal safety of others).
“The incident took place when my daughter boarded the lift from the 20th floor and her two other friends took the lift on the eleventh floor. Thereafter, the lift developed some snag and all three got stuck. They were trapped for 24 minutes,” said Shivam Gehlot.
“The high-rise has the provision of CCTV but the surveillance room gets locked by 6pm after the staff leaves. It was with great difficulty that I managed to get the CCTV footage of the incident and later I approached the police. The AOA office bearers have the responsibility for the maintenance works,” Gehlot added.
When contacted, AOA president Chaturvedi said that she was busy with her official work and requested the response be taken from the AOA secretary.
Abhay Jha, the secretary, said that the incident occurred as the lift developed some technical snag. It was an unfortunate incident, he said, adding that he was informed by the maintenance staff that some time was taken to rescue the girls.
He said that the incident was not reported to him or the president and directly an FIR was registered with the police.
“Upon knowing about the incident on Wednesday afternoon, I issued a show cause of the maintenance agency and also the lift maintenance agency. The lift agency staff arrived on Thursday and are taking up all remedial measures,” Jha added.
We have started an investigation, said Inspector Abur Rehman Siddiqui, SHO, Crossings Republik police station.