Gurgaon: No one from admin came for help, alleges fire victim’s family
The 80-shanty slum is home to some 250 people. Each family pays ₹1,500 per month for one hut. The rent was collected in the first week of every month by local contractor Nuru Thekedar.gurgaon Updated: Mar 27, 2018 22:37 IST
A day after a teenage girl was killed and over 70 shanties near Tigra village in Sector 57 were burnt to the ground in a massive fire, the district administration is yet to extend help to the aggrieved families.
The blaze, suspected to have been caused by a leak in a domestic LPG cylinder, started around 10am on Monday.
“I cried for hours and begged for someone to take me to Delhi to meet my daughter (in the hospital), but no one cared. No one (in the slum) had money to help me or take me to visit my daughter. I will only get a chance to look at her body in the evening (on Tuesday),” said Shikha Das, mother of the deceased girl Deepali.
With the family’s belongings and money were destroyed in the fire, and no one having come forward to help them, Das now wonders how she will cremate her daughter who suffered 65% burns, and was shifted to Safdarjung Hospital in New Delhi where she succumbed to her injuries.
“Even after such a tragedy, no official visited us on Monday or today (Tuesday). No one from the district administration has come to the slum either,” the 30-year-old added.
Sub-divisional magistrate Bharat Bhushan Gogia said he only learnt of the fire on Tuesday.
“We learned about the incident on Tuesday and sent the naib tehsildar to visit the spot. A disaster management team will visit the spot on Wednesday, and assess the total damage. We will ensure that the family (of the deceased) gets support from the administration,” he said.
Deepali’s cousin brother Pratap Das was the last to see her as she cried for help to escape the inferno.
“She was not keeping well, so after her father and mother left for work, she slept. When she realised there’s a fire, she tried to come out of the hut, but was trapped,” Pratap said, adding that she could only be pulled out of the burning hut after they broke the door open, and sprayed water on her.
Despite their grief, the family, which hails from Nadia in West Bengal, has more immediate worries.
“We are left with nothing and have to start from scratch. How will we build our huts again or survive for a month until we get our salaries? We have never begged; we were working and saving money to build our house in the village, but now it’s all finished. The officials did not even bother to check how we will survive,” said Das.
The 80-shanty slum is home to some 250 people. Each family pays ₹1,500 per month for one hut. The rent was collected in the first week of every month by local contractor Nuru Thekedar.
Though the police have booked Nuru Thekedar and another man identified as Sunder under sections 447( criminal treasure) 384 (extortion), 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire) and 304A (causing death by negligence) and 34 of the Indian Penal Code, no arrests were made till late on Tuesday.
“We are verifying the facts of the documents related to the land (on which the slum was built) and are conducting investigations against the two men booked. We have recorded the statement of the father who said the trigger for the fire might be leakage in a gas cylinder in the area, but he is not sure of what led to the fire,” said inspector Arvind Kumar, station house officer at Sector 56 police station.
Meanwhile, Gurgaon district in-charge of Youth Congress and Haryana general secretary Akshat Singh visited the spot on Tuesday and met the victims. He organized food, clothes and gave cash to people to arrange for their huts.
“It is very unfortunate that no officials have visited the families and no help is provided to them. There should be an inquiry conducted and these people should be shifted from this location. Also, the government should take action against the people who lend these huts without any safety measures,” Singh said.