Fire at BMTF raises mischief stink

The Task Force is investigating the multi-billion fake bills scam in the BBMP

Palike Commissioner Siddaiah and deputy mayor S Harish said it could be an attempt to sabotage the fake bill scam probe. Harish said the ruling BJP had no role in the fire. The solace for BBMP authorities is that none of the files pertaining to the scam were damaged.

“The entire BMTF police station is gutted. The IT Section and the office of the chief accounts officer, located next to the police station, were partially affected, but major documents are safe. The documents that were burnt relate to the day-to-day business and do not pertain to the scam,” Siddaiah said. The fire broke out in the third floor of the Annexe Building. The fire gutted furniture, false ceiling, documents kept in the almirahs, wires and computers at the  station. There were no sentries at the station when the fire broke out.

A fire tender and 20 fire fighters rushed to douse the blaze. Inspector General of Police of BMTF, Dr Rajvir Pratap Sharma, rushed to the spot and inspected the damage.

Dr Sharma told reporters: “The police station was burnt and the first information report pertaining to the fake bill scam was charred. Whatever limited number of documents we had seized in connection with the fake bill case were not damaged,” said Sharma.

He said if any of the documents in the office of the chief accounts officer is burnt, BMTF will have to see whether the fire has anything to do with the case. He refused to comment on whether the fire was intentional.

“It will be premature to say anything now. The local police are entrusted with the investigation. Their report will decide our course of action,” said Sharma.

“The MCB had become dysfunctional even before the fire started. We firmly believe that short circuit was not a cause. We suspect it to be an act of sabotaging the investigation. However, most of the files pertaining to the fake bill case are in safe custody,” said Siddaiah.

While calling it a conspiracy, Harish said BMTF should also have taken care of its properties.  It may be recalled that Rajarajeshwari Nagar MLA M Srinivas has trained his guns on Siddaiah by demanding his suspension. Srinivas had said no fake bill scams took place in his constituency.

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