Guv, CM, Azad, others express grief
STATE TIMES NEWS JAMMU: At least 18 houses, 25 shops and a Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) camp office were gutted in a devastating fire which broke out in a residential area of remote village in Doda district. “Major fire broke out during midnight in residential area of village Bhatyas in tehsil Gandoh,” Vinay Kumar, Additional Superintendent of Police, Doda said. He said that around 25 shops and 18 houses were completely gutted in the fire. “Initially short circuit has been ascertained to be the reason behind inferno,” he asserted. The SP further said that two fire tenders from Thathri and Gandoh were immediately pressed into service. “No loss of life or injury was reported in the incident,” he maintained. A case has been registered and investigation started, he added. Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Doda, Bhupinder Kumar took stock of the damage caused by the fire incident and later announced Rs 10,000 each to the affected families besides asked the forest department to provide sleepers for construction of houses and shops. He further announced relief out of SDRF and Red Cross fund. The DDC constituted a SIT to investigate the cause of incident and submit a report to the administration thereof. Later, SSP assured the public of additional police patrolling at night to avert any such incidence in future. Governor N N Vohra has expressed sadness over the incident and advised restoration work to commence forthwith the damaged properties and provision of relief. Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti also expressed grief over the fire incident in which more than 40 residential and commercial establishments were gutted. The Chief Minister has directed the district administration Doda to extend all possible help to the victims of the fire by way of providing temporary shelters and items of daily use. Deputy Chief Minister, Dr Nirmal Singh also expressed grief over the fire incident and directed the district administration to extend all possible support. Senior Congress leader and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad has expressed shock and grief over the tragic fire incident in Batyas Teh. Gandoh of district Doda. He expressed doubts about the cause of fire, since this is the second incident in seven days. A week before on the same road at a distance of 5 kms. from Tehsil Headquarter, Gandoh, more than 30 shops were gutted. This is the sixth time that on the Thatri-Gandoh road shops have caught fire. This looks a deep conspiracy and some organisation is definitely behind this. “I am told that some powder like inflammable substance was seen at the site of fire. This has given room to suspicion of a foul play. Authorities must look into the causes of repeated fire incidents at this particular site.” said Azad. Former Chief Minister further said, “My all sympathies are with the affected families. State administration must provide immediate help and financial support to all those affected by devastating blaze. Also an immediate inquiry must be conducted to uncover the mystery of such fire incidents taking place in a particular area. Azad demanded immediate provision for fire-fighting equipments for areas like Gawari, Bathri, Kahara, Malikpora, Gandoh and Bhatyas. Had there been facilities available destruction would have been restricted.” Expressing serious concern over the devastating fire incident at Bhatyas market last night, J and K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) President G.A Mir described the incident as most unfortunate. Congress President lashed out at the administration for failing to provide fire service to the village despite the pressing demand from the locals for a long time. He felt dismayed over the losses caused due to fire incident and urged the Govt to take effective measures to rehabilitate the victims. He urged upon the Govt to compensate the affected people and ensure complete rehabilitation of those who lost their residential houses in this unfortunate incident. Mohammed Sharief Niaz, Executive Member J and K Congress committee and former Minister also expressed grief over the incident of fire. Niaz met Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Minister A.R Veeri at Jammu Secretariat and demanded full compensation /ex-gratia relief in favour of the fire victims who have become jobless and who have suffered in different fire incidents during the last one year. Minister assured Niaz that government will provide relief to affected people to the best possible extent . Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) Vice President and MLA Inderwal, Ghulam Mohammad Saroori also expressed serious concern after being informed about the fire incident which took place at Bhatyas. Saroori expressed concern over the non-preparedness of the government to meet emergent situations in the far flung areas. He said that the government must come out with contingency plan so that no more property is lost in these districts.
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