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Gujarat CID to Probe Major Fire in Govt-run Godown After Third Consecutive Incident

On Monday afternoon, the Gujarat government directed the CID to investigate the matter in which over 26,000 bags of groundnut were reduced to ashes.

Meghdoot Sharon | CNN-News18

Updated:May 7, 2018, 5:45 PM IST
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Gujarat CID to Probe Major Fire in Govt-run Godown After Third Consecutive Incident
Authorities inspect the Rajkot godown after the fire incident on Monday. (Image: News18)
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Ahmedabad: A major fire at a government-run godown in Shapar-Veraval town of Rajkot district in Gujarat has triggered a CID investigation with this being the third such fire at a government godown over the past six months.

The opposition has alleged that it appears as if the godown was deliberately set on fire because a lot of BJP affiliated middlemen had made huge profits from the godowns. On Monday afternoon, the Gujarat government directed the CID to investigate the matter in which over 26,000 bags of groundnut were reduced to ashes. The fire started late on Sunday evening and was yet to be doused till Monday evening.

This is the third time in the past six months that fires have been reported from government godowns in Saurashtra. Earlier, massive fires were reported in grain godowns at Gondal and rural Rajkot as well. Fourteen fire engines from Rajkot, Gondal, Jetpur, Dhoraji and other areas were pressed into action from Sunday evening to contain the fire. Of the total six godowns in the compound, four went up in flames on Sunday evening while the exact cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained.

Speaking to the media in Mehsana, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani admitted that the fire at the Shapar-Veraval godown is a serious matter. “About 20,000 bags of groundnut have been destroyed in the fire. We have been able to salvage about 45,000 bags. Given the seriousness of the matter, I have directed the Collector and SP to conduct a thorough inquiry into the matter. The government will take stern action against those found guilty.”

State agriculture minister RC Faldu went a step further in saying that he suspects the incident was an attempt to defame the government. “I have reported the matter to the Chief Minister with a request that a high level inquiry be conducted into the matter. It appears as if this is an attempt to defame the government,” Faldu said in Gandhinagar.

The Congress launched an all-out attack against the ruling BJP, saying that the BJP is an anti-farmer party and that there ought to be an impartial inquiry into the fire at the godown.

“Just ahead of the elections, the government purchased groundnut from farmers in a bid to gain political mileage. In the process, several middlemen associated with the BJP had made huge profits. It appears as if the godown has been deliberately set on fire. A sitting High Court judge ought to investigate this matter,” Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani said.

Congress leader and GPCC spokesperson Manish Doshi added, “There have been three instances of fire at godowns owned by the government in the past six months. The government must ask the CBI to investigate this and punish those responsible.”
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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