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Madhya Pradesh CM Mohan Yadav constitutes seven-member committee to probe secretariat fire

A massive fire broke out in the Madhya Pradesh secretariat complex Vallabh Bhavan in Bhopal on Saturday (March 9). The blaze erupted on the third floor of the building. The fire was brought under control after hours of firefighting.

Edited By: Arushi Jaiswal @JaiswalArushi Bhopal Published on: March 10, 2024 7:31 IST
It took over six hours to extinguish the fire.
Image Source : PTI It took over six hours to extinguish the fire.

Secretariat fire: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Mohan Yadav formed a seven-member committee to probe into the major fire incident that broke out in the state secretariat complex 'Vallabh Bhawan' in Bhopal on Saturday morning.

7-member committee

According to an official statement from the General Administration Department, the panel will submit its initial report in three days and a detailed one in 15 days. The probe panel set up by the chief minister will be headed by Additional Chief Secretary (Public Health) Mohammad Suleman, and it will examine the cause of the fire, extent of the damage, and fix the responsibility for the incident. It will also recommend preventive measures.

The other members of the probe committee would be Principal Secretary (PS) Home Sanjay Dubey, PS Urban Development and Housing Neeraj Mandloi, PS Public Works D P Ahuja, ADG Fire Services Ashutosh Rai, municipal commissioner Pawan Sharma and police commissioner Harinarayan Chari Mishra.

Fire at Vallabh Bhavan State Secretariat in Bhopal

The fire, which was noticed around 9:30 am, spread to the fourth and fifth floors as well. Personnel from the Army, National Disaster Response Force, and police firefighters joined the municipal fire brigade in the firefighting operation, which concluded around 4:15 pm.

Since it was a Saturday, the government offices inside the building were closed, and the premises were nearly empty when the fire broke out. Fortunately, no one was injured and the blaze was extinguished after more than six hours of efforts.

The fire, which started on the third floor, spread to the fourth and fifth floors as well. It caused the most damage to three or four offices on the fifth floor. Approximately 40 to 50 fire tenders and water bowsers, including some from the Army, were deployed to combat the blaze.

The fire was put out completely by 4.15 pm, the Bhopal Municipal Corporation's Fire Officer Rameshwar Neel told news agency PTI.

Congress on fire incident

State Congress chief Jitu Patwari alleged that the fire was a "conspiracy" to eliminate evidence of corruption. In protest, he and the Leader of the Opposition in the assembly Umang Sarang staged a sit-in outside the secretariat for a couple of hours, demanding a CBI investigation into the fire.

Congress leader Patwari claimed this was the fifth incident of fire at Vallabh Bhawan since the BJP came to power in 2003. "Which files have been burnt? Of which departments?" he asked in a statement, alleging that the fire was a "conspiracy" of the BJP government steeped in "corruption, indebtedness and crime" to destroy the evidence.

Meanwhile, state BJP spokesperson Pankaj Chaturvedi rebuffed Patwari's accusations, asserting that the opposition party had not substantiated any allegations of corruption over the years. He suggested that the Congress should focus on scrutinizing the track record of the UPA government instead.

(With agencies input)

Also Read: Massive fire at Vallabh Bhavan State Secretariat in Bhopal contained after hours of firefighting | WATCH

Also Read: Madhya Pradesh: Senior Congress leaders Suresh Pachouri, Sanjay Shukla join BJP ahead of LS polls

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