From gun salute for deceased to TMC-BJP slugfest: Here's what happened after Kolkata Strand Road fire incident that claimed 9 lives

Kolkata: The massive fire outbreak at Eastern railways office at Kolkata’s Strand Road on March 8 evening that claimed nine lives including Amit Bhawal, ASI of Hare Street Police Station were given ‘Guard of Honour’ on Tuesday at Lalbazar, Kolkata Police headquarters.

Besides the honour, the ruling Trinamool Congress and its main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) cried foul against each other over the incident.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday night was heard slamming the Railway officials for not reaching the spot and also for not cooperating with the Trinamool Congress government by providing them the map of the old buildings.

Taking a cue from it, BJP MP Locket Chatterjee and West Bengal BJP women wing president Agnimitra Paul stated that despite maligning the BJP led central government, the TMC should have conducted training workshops for the firefighters before inducting them.

“During fire breakout, electricity should be turned off. Elevators should not be used during such an emergency and the deaths of the firefighter happened inside the elevator while they were trying to reach the spot. The TMC government neither anything to improve fire and emergency services nor gave proper training to the firefighters,” claimed the actor-turned-politician.

Incidentally, reports of the scarcity of water were reported while 10 fire tenders tried to douse the fire. Slamming the West Bengal government, Agnimitra stated that the TMC government always maligns others instead of checking their own mistake and also alleged that the TMC is ‘casual’ over every incident.

Notably, The Chief Minister on Monday night had announced ex-gratia of 10 lakh rupees and state government jobs to the families of the deceased. On Tuesday expressing his grief Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced two lakh of ex-gratia to the families of the deceased and 50,000 rupees for those who got seriously injured.

Taking to social media BJP leader Amit Malviya attacked the TMC supremo by claiming that the TMC government in last 10 years didn’t invest in Disaster Management & fire fighting policies for which the department doesn’t have the requisite equipment.

Addressing a press conference, TMC minister Bratya Basu claimed, “Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee rushed to spot at the wee hours, no one from the West Bengal BJP nor anyone from Eastern Railway was seen at the spot or even at SSKM hospital, where autopsy of the deceased was performed.”

However, Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal on Tuesday on social media and expressed his grief.

Meanwhile, the Additional Director General (Public Relations) DJ Narain affirmed that a High-level probe committee led by Senior Chief Security Officer has been made to investigate the matter. Sleuths of Kolkata Police also visited the spot on Tuesday to ascertain the source of the fire.

The forensic team, after the first investigation claimed that the source of the fire can be from the wires and also that the actual reason will be cleared after the test performed in laboratories.

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Free Press Journal