Hyderabad: Stall owners of exhibition who had suffered huge losses due to the fire accident, registered protest and staged dharna in front of the office of Exhibition Society.
Although, elaborate arrangements were made by the police, the victims had started gathering right from the morning. They alleged that appropriate security arrangements were not made by Exhibition Society. There was no water available in the fire tenders. They also told that they had borrowed amounts on huge interests. If no compensation is given, they will become bankrupt. The protestors also entangled with the police. One of them made an attempt to commit suicide which police foiled.
Police officials are reviewing the CCTV footage of the fire incident which was seized earlier.
DCP of Central Zone, Mr. P. Vishwa Prasad informed that in all, 320 stalls were affected by the fire. There are 120 claimants of these stalls. Begum Bazar Police registered a case and Clues Team has been posted to examine the spot.
Early investigation suspected that the fire broke out due to short circuit or by throwing the butt of the burnt cigarette at Mahesh Cooperative Bank by some persons.
Stall owners also reported that Exhibition Society collects the charges for erecting the stalls in two parts: one through cheques and other without recording any receipts. Insurance amounts were also collected from some stall owners. Exhibition Society allotted more than five stalls to a single person. Discrimination has also been made while appointing volunteers.
DG of fire services, Mr. Gopi Krishna also visited the affected spot and said that within few minutes of the commencement of relief work by fire staff, three stalls were already engulfed by fire. During firefighting operation, fire officer of Gowliguda fire station, Mr. Raj Kumar got affected.