Forty-eight hours after the fire at Stephen Court in Kolkata, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee turned against his own administration.
Replying to a question raised by leader of the Congress legislative party Manas Bhuniya on Thursday, Bhattacharjee said, "I understand that an illegal construction racket is working in connivance with a section of the administration.'
He didn’t even spare Kolkata Municipal Corporation, ruled by the CPI(M)-led Left Front since 2005.
He said, "How could two floors be added illegally in the heart of the city? What was Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) doing then? We have to act tough and they (the guilty) should be severely punished."
At 2:15pm on Tuesday, a fire swept through the 150-year-old Stephen Court in Kolkata, killing 24 persons so far.
However, four bodies are still lying unidentified in the morgue, while 10 people are missing.
Next day, Kolkata Police Commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakravarty alleged that the fifth and sixth floors were illegally built and regularised later.
State Home Secretary Ardhendu Sen announced on Thursday that the government would constitute an enquiry commission to probe the fire. The notification will be issued on Friday.
A few hours after Bhattacharjee’s statement, Calcutta High Court restrained KMC from demolishing any part of the damaged building without the court’s permission.
Earlier, a section of the Stephen Court residents petitioned the court, seeking restriction on the demolition work that started in the morning.
Since KMC did not allow the residents to enter into the building, a scuffle broke out between the police and the residents on Thursday morning.
Anger also surfaced at the state government-run Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial hospital when relatives of the victims shouted against Trinamul Congress’ Partha Chattopadhyay who visited the hospital.