Even 10 months after a fire destroyed three shopping complexes near Crawford Market in south Mumbai, the Mumbai police crime branch have drawn a blank in ascertaining the cause.
On November 26, 2011, the fire started in the Sara-Sahara shopping complex and quickly spared to the adjacent Manish Market and Mohta market.
Crime branch sources claimed that even after questioning several persons and collecting forensic evidence from the affected areas they could not figure out the source of the fire.
“The area is too congested. In the shops, the goods and electrical wirings are crammed in whatever space is available, thereby making the task of investigation extremely difficult. We could not get much out of the probe,” a source said, on condition of anonymity.
It was believed that there was a conspiracy behind the fire. The issue was even raised in the state legislative assembly and the probe was transferred from the fire department to the crime branch in December 2011.
Adding to the rumours was the possible involvement of the underworld since the Sara-Sahara market has been linked to gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
It took the fire brigade nearly two days to completely douse the fire. Three firemen had suffered injuries in the operation in which more than 30 fire tenders and 20 tankers were used. Over 400 shops in and around the area were completely destroyed.