Div Com fails to ascertain cause of fire

Submits Recommendations, Leaves Probe To Cops



Srinagar, Jan 21: Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has submitted his report on the mysterious fire at the shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jeelani (RA), popularly known as Gaus-ul-Azam Peer Dastgeer Sahib (RA). Unable to ascertain the cause of fire, the officer has said that police would investigate the matter.
The revered 200-year old shrine of Dastgeer Sahib (RA) in Khanyar area of old Srinagar was gutted on June 25, 2012, plunging the Valley into anguish and grief. The state government ordered a probe and asked Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, Dr Asgar Hussain Samoon, to look into the cause of the blaze.
“I have submitted report to the government with certain suggestions,” Dr Samoon told Greater Kashmir.
“Police has registered a case and they will ascertain the cause of fire,” he said.
Dr Samoon said that during the inquiry he recorded statements of many people but nobody told him about the cause of fire. “I questioned Waqf officials, Fire & Emergency Services men, locals, care-takers and security guards but nobody was able to ascertain the cause of the fire,” he said and hoped that police investigation will reveal the cause.
“They (Police) have collected samples for FSL. They have also questioned people. The result of police investigation would be final,” he said.
Answering a question on Fire and Emergency Services (F&ES), Div Com said that he did not find any laxity on their part.
Divisional Commissioner said that he has made certain recommendations in the report, asking for fire safety measures and fire audit of all shrines. “I also recommended removal of residential houses around the shrine so that a buffer zone is created. I think some of the residential houses have been removed,” he said.
Dr Samoon said that he has recommended fire-proof wiring, installation of Fire Alarm Bells, Smoke Detection Systems, Under Ground Water Tanks, emergency exits of shrines, accessibility to firefighters, use of flame-retardant materials in interiors, regular fire drills, maintaining of smoke suppression systems.
The inquiry officer said that he has also recommended training to Waqf employees and beefing up of security around shrines.
Police have registered a case of arson vide FIR number 37/2012 Under Section 436 CrPc in the incident and a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was constituted to probe the case. The SIT headed by a DySP has questioned several persons including the caretakers and people responsible for management of the shrine. They have also sent samples to FSL.
Official records suggest that nearly 100 shrines, including 22 most revered architecturally important monuments, across the Valley are at fire risk. These include Shah-i-Hamdan (RA) shrine, shrine of Makhdoom Sahib (RA), shrine of Naqshband Sahib (RA), Zain Shah Sahib (RA) shrine at Aishmuqam in south Kashmir and shrine of Baba Rishi (RA) at Tangmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 21 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 22 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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