A 20-year-old youth was injured and more than 25 shanties were gutted in fire which broke out at a slum in Tangra police station area around 3 am on Monday, fire brigade officials said.
Md Mustafa, a local resident, was injured while he was trying to extinguish the fire. He was admitted to NRS Medical College and Hospital.
The fire spread repidly because of the presence of plastic materials in the area which was also used as a dumping ground, a police officer said.
Around twenty fire tenders were pressed into service which took around 4 hours to douse the flames.
The local residents alleged that some miscreants had purposely set the shanties on fire as they wanted a highrise to come up on the plot. They alleged that the goons came to the slum last night and had threatened them to vacate the place “or else they would set it on fire”.
According to police, no complaint has been was lodged against anyone.
A resident of the slum, who doesn’t want to be quoted, said, “The goons said that they want to turn the plot to a playground. But actually they want a highrise to come up here and they will supply building materials.”
An officer of the fire department says the fire initially broke out in a shanty situated beside the canal in the northern side of the slum.
The reason behind the fire is yet to be ascertained. But fire department officials suspect that the fire broke out as a huge quantity of inflammable materials were present in the shanty.
The fire spread fast as all the shanties were packed with materials including plastic goods and chemicals. A motorbike was also gutted.
Shamik Halder, a local resident, said there were manufacturing units in most of the shanties here.
On Sunday, most of the people have left around 8 pm. Those who were staying here came out after they heard people shouting.
They could not take out any valuables from their houses as they fell asleep when the incident took place.