The mystery shrouding the blast in a godown in Nanded on Friday midnight that killed one person was on Sunday laid bare after the lone survivor of the incident confessed it was a well thought of plan to claim a whopping Rs 15 lakh insurance from Bajaj alliance to which he had recently subscribed.
"I know I am going to die and would like to bare my heart out," Dyaneshwar Manikwar, 39, the owner of the godown told the police on Sunday morning from his hospital bed where he is nursing 70 per cent burns he sustained in the incident.
Dyaneshwar's nephew, Pundalik Mangnalikar, 38, had died instantly when he tried to light a matchstick after pouring over five litres of petrol over unsold cartons of biscuits that had piled up like mountains, with their business running into huge losses.
It was Dyaneshwar's plan to leave the godown as soon as Pundalik was able to light an incense stick and fix it up into one of the cartons. "I had gathered the incense stick would light up in enough time for us to flee from the godown," Dyaneshwar said.
But that was not to be. Five litres of petrol in a 10 ft by 12 ft, with the shutters down, had vaporised into highly inflammable gases within minutes. "When Pundalik lit the matchstick little did he know there would be no need for the incense stick anymore. The moment he lit the matchstick the godown was to turn into an inferno, and it did forensic expert, CR Bodke, told Hindustan Times after inspecting the debris at the spot.
Though Dyaneshwar's confession statement was not disclosed to Bodke, while he inspected the site, the case was by no means a difficult one to crack he told HT.
"There was a strong smell of petrol as we turned the cartons. Plus the vital signs of a blast were missing. No marks of splinters on the wall, no smell of explosive chemicals," Bodke said.
Earlier, doctors at the Guru Gobind Medical college and hospital in Nanded detected no splinter injuries or foreign bodies during Pundalik's postmortem.
The deafening sound that woke up neighbours was the result of vapourised petrol unable to escape from the air tight godown, forensic experts said. "Such gases are capable of breaking objects much stronger than the shutter that went flying over a distance of 20 ft after the fire broke out."
Meanwhile, Nanded superintendent of police Fatehsingh Patil, said he was completely satisfied with the results of the investigations that had laid to rest for once all theories of a possible bomb blast by a section of Hindu right wing.
Email KS Manojkumar: firstname.lastname@example.org