Mumbai: Anti-social elements behind Aarey colony fire, says report

Mumbai: After the fire broke out in Aarey colony forest area, which is near the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), local residents had accused suspicious activity by anti-social elements who conducted dubious activities like drug parties and consuming alcohol who would throw lit matches around. The fire occurred on December 3.

Confirming these fears, the fire department have prepared report wherein they stated the cause of the fire ‘doubtful’. The report also said, the entire accident is being investigated by the police in details. The fire broke out in the evening around 6.30 pm and various agencies rushed to douse the fire.

However, there were heavy winds which made rescue operation tough and eventually it was doused after 15 hours. According to the report, the circumstantial evidence shows, the fire was confined to the area of dry grass, dry leaves, shrubs and small trees on the hills within a two to three kilometres periphery. Fire report said, “No eye witnesses came forward to report and give proper details of this incident.”

The report says, ‘The statement of the witnesses revealed the origin of the fire was somewhere on the hill-top near a nallah, on the north-east side and had rapidly travelled towards the south west direction. During the course of inspection, some bottles, half burnt tyres, plastics etc were noticed in the central region of the hill, which denotes the trespassing by unauthorised persons in the said land area.’ Fire department also reported, ‘Despite this huge fire, there were some unaffected portions of the hillock, which further raised the possibilities of some suspicious activity in the said land area.’

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