Fire officials are tight-lipped on what caused the fire at the house of a resident, Mangala Gawai, while cops have confirmed that it started there
The Samta Nagar Police station officials are waiting for the report on the Damu Nagar fire that burnt 2,000 shanties, by the Fire Department, which they will be given today. Further action will be decided only after seeing it.
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Some of the victims have installed signboards — demanding homes — on their makeshift shelters. Pics/Nimesh Dave
While the fire officials are tight lipped on what caused the fire at the house of Mangala Gawai, police officials have confirmed that it started there. Since police officials are yet to receive the investigative report prepared by the fire department, the plan of action is yet to be decided.
Daily activities such as fetching water have become an uphill task
Gawai has said she has no clue how the fire started. “Different people are coming up with different perspectives. But I really don’t know how the fire started as nobody was at home,” said Gawai. When asked if there could be a case of negligence against any individual and if she or he will face action, D S Yadav, senior police inspector said that only the fire officials’ investigation can guide them in taking further action.
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Donated clothes lie in the rehabilitation help centre started by the BMC at Damu Nagar
“As of now, we are still waiting for the report. As soon as we get that, we will decide the plan of action. As of now we cannot say anything on it,” said Yadav. Adding further, he said that people need to stop spreading rumours about a possible plan of sabotage or other reasons for the fire, as it can create panic amongst the victims.
Yesterday afternoon, there were strong protests when state government officials attempted to give cheques of Rs 3,800 as humanitarian aid to the victims, as they thought they were compensation. Police officials had to intervene and only then families accepted the cheques issued by the deputy collector of the state government.
“Initially we heard there was stone pelting and other violence in the vicinity, but it was only a protest which calmed down later as the residents understood the exact reason of the payment,” added Yadav. State government officials said that the payment was offered against the receipt given to every family after the panchnama — identification of people and losses - carried out by them from the day of the fire.
“We had 21 outlets and around 1,100-1,200 families received help. It wasn’t compensation and only aid given to the victims to help them rebuild their homes and buy essentials,” said an official.