Over 400 families were rendered homeless after their shacks caught fire on Friday morning. Two people, including a fire department official, were injured in the deadly blaze in Sadar Bazar area.
The residents alleged it was a case of sabotage. “This is nothing new. Every year, our jhuggis (shanties) are gutted in fire. This is done to vacate the land,” claimed Shradha, a slum dweller.
“The government is unable to explain the reason behind the fire every time,” she added.
The fire broke out at 1am in three shanties located near the railway tracks. According to a fire department official, a call was received at 1.10am and 25 fire tenders were pressed into service. It took over five hours to douse the flames.
“We were sleeping when the fire broke out,” said Ramesh, a resident of the area. A 65-year-old man was admitted at LNJP Hospital with 20% burn injuries.
The police said that most of the people living in the locality were scrap dealers who had constructed warehouses in the area.