Left, Congress demand probe into Maheshtala fire

The fire in Santoshpur-Maheshtala area on the outskirts of Kolkata had left more than 1,000 people homeless.

Updated: Mar 17, 2013, 17:33 PM IST

Kolkata: Hinting at a conspiracy in the fire in Santoshpur-Maheshtala area on the outskirts of the city on Saturday which left more than 1,000 people homeless, opposition Left Front and Congress on Sunday demanded a probe.

"The incident should be properly probed to unearth the truth and those who are responsible for such heinous act should be given exemplary punishment," Left Front chairman Biman Bose said.

The fire also gutted around 700 shanties in the area, but no injuries or casualties were reported.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had termed the incident as "a small incident" and promised rehabilitation of the victims.

Reacting to her statement today Bose told reporters, "The matter is not at all a small incident. It is pre-planned."

West Bengal state Congress Pradip Bhattacharjee also demanded a probe into the incident.

"We want the incident to be probed. Our leader and MP Deepa Dasmunsi had visited the spot today and given us a horrific report about the incident. How can the chief minister term it as a small incident," Bhattacharjee wondered.

The police filed an FIR against 11 persons, including Trinamool Congress councillor of Mahestala Municipality Dipika Dutta and TMC leader Rafiq Mollah.

Of the 11, five were arrested, police sources said.

The chairman of the municipality, Dulal Das, who was away at Tripura for personal work denied allegations made by local people that his party men were involved in the incident.