Delhi fire: Factories remain closed as workers protest
A day after the devastating fire in an illegal factory-cum-warehouse that left 43 workers dead and another 20 injured, other factories in the area remained closed prompting a protest by labourers.
The protesting labourers said the factory owners were not allowing them access to the factories which also served as their residence.
They were being stopped by the police at the main entrance of the lane. “The factory owners are worried that we will speak to the media about the shortcomings in these places. But we are only looking to gather our belongings,” said Raja Qureshi, a worker who works in a neighbouring factory.
Another worker, Mohammad Naushad, is worried that he wouldn’t be paid for the days that his factory remains shut in response to the fatal fire.
The labourers raised slogans at the entrance of the lane even as local residents and curious onlookers clicked images and made videos of the burnt building.
Even as the drama went on, the destroyed factory was visited by North MCD commissioner, Varsha Joshi, in the afternoon. She left the place without responding to questions from the media.
The factory was also visited by the forensic experts and a police team from Uttar Pradesh. They refused to interact with the media.
Other business establishments in the neighbourhood remained closed for a second consecutive day.
Meanwhile, two city hospitals in central Delhi had received the 43 people who had died in the fire incident. A medico-legal case for ‘unknown’ persons was registered on Sunday and till evening the MLC numbers were being used to identify the dead.
At Lok Nayak hospital, where 34 bodies had been brought, the police were able to identify 29 by Sunday evening with relatives bringing in photos of the dead with their IDs. After identification, the hospital started conducting autopsy early Monday morning. The bodies of the people who have been identified will be slowly released by the hospital after proper identification.
At Lady Hardinge Medical college, where five of the nine dead have been identified by distant relatives, the doctors and police are in the process of verification after which the autopsies would begin.