A day after a major fire accident at the Mantralaya building , the political circles were abuzz with the speculations that the fire accident was pre-planned in order to destroy crucial records related to important cases and projects.
Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) ignited this uncanny speculation as he hinted at the possibilities of a conspiracy involved in Thursday's fire accident.
Ajit Pawar cried foul over the fire incident and expressed his surprise on why the fire hadn't damaged the chief minister's office. Pawar has not been experiencing good bonding with Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan of the Congress.
"The thing that is most surprising is that while every office in the sixth floor, including mine, got burnt, the chief minister's office remained intact," Pawar said, as reported by India Today.
Prithviraj Chavan, however, ruled out any possibilities of conspiracy indulged in the fire mishap and said that his office was safeguarded with strong walls and was cleanly maintained, which averted a major damage.
"It is not like that. The walls of my office are made of cement, even the doors are thick. The conference room and other rooms in my office, which are made up of wood, did get burnt, but my cabin was not burnt because of the thick cement walls. There was no wood used and also because I don't leave a single piece of paper in my office," said Chavan, according to media reports.
Many times, fire accidents are used as a powerful weapon to destroy the crucial records or evidence to escape from cases. Several government offices in India have suffered fire mishaps in the past, which were alleged to have been done deliberately to destroy files and papers that were likely to spell trouble for the accused.
Fire at the Maharashtra state secretariat is being speculated as one such conspiracy. Thursday's fire gutted several ministers' offices in the building and incinerated several computers, including thousands of files. It's feared that important documents related to Adarsh housing scam and developmental projects could have been destroyed in the fire.
However, the officials emphasizing on the files related to Adarsh said that the data can be retrieved from the CBI officials or the two-member judicial panel.
CM Chavan also said that besides the crime branch investigation into the cause of the fire accident, independent experts will also be roped in to look into the incident.
Death toll rises:
With the rescue team recovering two more charred dead bodies from the ill-fated official building, the total number of death has gone up to five. The Mumbai police have registered an accidental death case in the latest fire mishap.
RTI revelation on fire mishap:
While there are several conspiracy theories doing the rounds over the fire accident, an RTI activist on Friday indicted government's negligence for the fire incident.
Anil Galgali, Athak Seva Sangh chairman and RTI activist, in a letter referring to Arup Patnaik, Mumbai Police Commissioner, has alleged that the Maharashtra government failed to implement the suggestion provided in the fire safety audit report in 2008.
He also urged the police to file case against officials of the Public Works Department and General Administrative Department for undermining the fire safety norms.