25 shanties gutted, residents say civic businesses began fireplace to evict them

NEW DELHI: A major fire engulfed the at near on Sunday afternoon in which 25 shanties were gutted. No casualties or injuries have been reported. The slum dwellers blocked Vikas Marg after the incident alleging foul play. Police and paramilitary forces had to be sent to clear the road so that fire tenders could reach the spot and douse the fire.
Fire department officials said that the incident occurred around 1.50pm. Subsequently, 16 fire tenders were sent to contain the blaze. However, none of the tenders could reach the spot as the slum dwellers blocked the way to their burning houses.

Cops were informed about the developments and a company of rapid action force was also called in to control the crowd. The protesters were finally removed from the road after 20 minutes of logjam and the fire tenders were pressed into service. Traffic was affected on Vikas Marg for around half an hour with people travelling between ITO and Laxmi Nagar getting struck due to the blocked road.

The slum dwellers alleged that the fire was started by to forcefully evacuate them from the area. Pintu, a resident, claimed that he saw three men coming in a car from behind the JJ colony after which the fire started. “The authorities want to evict us from the land and that’s why they set our shanties on fire,” the man claimed.

Police said that they have recorded the statement of the slum dwellers and they are probing the allegations. People present at the spot are also being questioned to ascertain how the blaze started.

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