Bhopal, June 13 () The six-storey Satpura Bhawan, where at least half a dozen departments of the Madhya Pradesh government are located, was engulfed in a massive fire on Monday, resulting in damage to official records, computers, furniture and other property.
The fire, which broke out on the third floor of the building, where the Tribal Welfare Department is located, gradually, spread to cover the entire building and was still raging late in the night. However, no casualty was reported, according to an official statement released late night.
The fire was so massive that efforts by the firefighters for several hours could not control it, and fire services of the Airport Authority of India were also summoned. Later, the state government sought the help of the IAF to douse the fire.
State Home Minister Narottam Mishra, who was present at the spot at 11.20 p.m., told media persons that Air Force helicopters will reach soon to help douse the blaze.
The Satpura Bhawan is located in front of the Madhya Pradesh Secretariat Vallabh Bhawan.
All official records, especially pertaining to the Tribal Welfare Department, were reportedly reduced into ashes in the fire.
The exact reason of the fire was yet to ascertained so far, however, preliminary information indicates that a blast in an air conditioner may have caused it, Additional Chief Secretary, Administration, Vinod Kumar said.
Mishra also said that a high level committee has been formed to investigate the fire incident in Satpura Bhawan. The five-member committee, chaired by Additional Chief Secretary, Home, Rajesh Rajora will conduct a detailed inquiry in the matter and submit the report to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
Meanwhile, the Congress has raised apprehension on fire incident, alleging that the incident could be a planed conspiracy to destroy files and other documents.
State media in-charge K.K. Mishra said: “Today, (Congress General Secretary) Priyanka Gandhi started the election campaign in MP. A fire broke out at Satpura Bhawan. It is an attempt to destroy documents to hide the corruption of BJP government. During a press conference two weeks back, I had mentioned the BJP would try destroy files to hide its corruption and fire incidents would start in government offices, and now it happened.”