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Crime Branch will probe 'Mantralaya' fire: Chavan

Crime Branch will probe 'Mantralaya' fire: Chavan

When contacted, a crime branch officer said, "In our probe, it will be clear if it was really a case of short-circuit or a deliberate act."

Mumbai: The Crime Branch of the Mumbai police will probe the fire incident at 'Mantralaya', the Maharashtra government Secretariat, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan announced on Thursday.

Asked by reporters whether it could be an act of sabotage, he said, "We don't want to jump to conclusion. Crime Branch will probe the incident."

The police wing usually probes cases which are underworld-related or those which are sensitive in nature.

Responding to a query whether important documents were lost in the fire, Chavan said that 3.18 crore pages from 2.27 lakh files were scanned and were thus safe.

Apprehensions have been expressed that several important files relating to the Adarsh Housing Society scam may have been destroyed in the fire.

Chavan said fire-fighting efforts would continue throughout the night.

When contacted, a crime branch officer said, "In our probe, it will be clear if it was really a case of short-circuit or a deliberate act."

As of now, it was stated that the incident was triggered due to a short circuit on the fourth floor of the building.

According to police sources, the investigators were seeking footage from the news channels as well as Mantralaya's CCTVs which would help them in the probe.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik, along with other police officials, visited the spot to take stock of the situation.

The fire broke out at Mantralaya, the headquarters of the Maharashtra government in South Mumbai gutting several offices this afternoon.

first published:June 21, 2012, 22:12 IST