Forensic investigations begin, Delhi Anaj Mandi fire echoes in Parliament

Relatives and family members of Anaj Mandi fire victims look at photographs in mobile phone taken by police for identification purpose, in New Delhi on December 9, 2019.   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

A day after 43 people died in a major fire in a residential building being used as a manufacturing unit in the Anaj Mandi area of central Delhi, a team from the police and Forensic Science Laboratory visited the building and collected samples for investigation on Monday.

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NMDC) has initiated an inquiry, headed by an additional commissioner, into the causes of the fire and is expected to submit its report by Friday, a senior corporation official said.

BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Goel raised the issue of the fire accident in Parliament. Terming the incident tragic, Mr. Goel expressed his sympathies to the victims and their families and commended the 150 fire fighters and police personnel who controlled the fire and successfully rescued more than 60 people.

Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari, while announcing the constitution of a five-member Fact Finding Committee headed by a retired Delhi High Court judge to investigate the incident and submit its report within a week, demanded both higher compensation for the victims in addition to trying those culpable for murder.

Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, speaking to reporters on Monday, attacked the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government for “not taking responsibility” for lacunae allegedly related to multiple departments under the State government that contributed to the incident.

“What happened at the Anaj Mandi is very, very sad. But why is it that it is always someone else's fault whenever incidents like this occur in Delhi? A state government that has the fire, power and labour departments under it has no responsibility? What about other city markets where power lines are hanging precariously overhead? Is that someone else's fault too?” Mr. Puri demanded.

However, the Delhi government, in a statement, argued that “a tragic incident” was being “sought to be exploited for political reasons” and it was “unbecoming of a Union ministry” to become a part of this “dangerous game” in regard to the allegations made against it by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA).

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Printable version | May 18, 2021 2:49:55 PM |

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