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Fire near Karkardooma Metro station hits services

New Delhi, Nov 17, 2012 , DHNS 1:28 IST
Tension prevailed at east Delhi’s Karkardooma metro station on Saturday afternoon after an irate mob went on a rampage. The mob alleged that police did not take action after a 34-year-old man, Rakesh, was found dead under mysterious circumstances at a banquet hall in the station’s premises.

The mob also set the banquet hall on fire which disrupted metro services for at least two hours. According to the police, Rakesh was found dead in the banquet hall at 2:15 am. At 3 pm on Saturday, Rakesh’s family members and friends came to the banquet hall to protest. A police control room van took Rakesh to Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, where he was declared brought dead. His body was later sent to Sabzi Mandi mortuary for post-mortem.

Rakesh’s family members allege that staff of the banquet hall killed Rakesh, but police have not registered any case so far.

A senior police officer said when Rakesh’s family members and friends got to know that the post-mortem would take time due to staff shortage, they became violent. “They gathered outside Karkardooma metro station around 3 pm and started pelting stones at the station,” the official said. The mob set a vehicle ablaze and also set the banquet hall on fire. Meanwhile, police reached the spot and forcibly dispersed the crowd to bring the situation under control. “People also threw stones at the policemen, but no one was reported injured,” the official added.

Around 20 fire tenders were also rushed to the spot and firefighters took over an hour to douse the flames. A case under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code has been lodged at Anand Vihar police station and further investigation is underway.

Commuters travelling to east Delhi had to face trouble on Saturday as Metro services were disrupted for two hours due to the fire. As a precautionary measure, Metro towards Vaishali was stopped between 4:20 and 6:20 pm.

“Train services between Yamuna Bank and Vaishali section were suspended from 4:20 pm for safety and security of passengers. Fire officials wanted to shut down the overhead equipment so that they could use fire tenders safely,” said a Delhi Metro Rail Corporation official.

Announcements were made across stations that trains would not go towards Vaishali for a while due to security reasons.

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