Fire Breaks Out at Shastri Bhawan in Delhi, Firefighters at Spot
File image of fire at Shastri Bhawan in Delhi (Photo Credits: IANS)

New Delhi, June 10: A fire broke out at Shastri Bhawan in Delhi on Monday. According to initial reports, 4-5 fire tenders were present outside Shastri Bhawan to extinguish the raging fire. The cause of the fire was not immediately known. This is the second incident of fire in Shastri Bhawan in less than 50 days.

Shastri Bhawan, a government building, houses Ministries of Law, Information and Broadcasting, Corporate Affairs, Chemicals and Petrochemicals and Human Resources Development. On April 30, a minor fire broke out on the sixth floor of Shastri Bhawan. The blaze was doused within minutes. No casualty was reported. "The fire erupted in the scrap and no files were gutted," Atul Garg, Delhi Chief Fire Officer, had said.

The fire had triggered a war of words between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and opposition parties over “burning of files”, though an official said no documents were destroyed. Opposition leaders like Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and CPI(M)’s Sitaram Yechury raised allegations that government files were being destroyed, drawing sharp retort from the BJP.

In a tweet, Gandhi said, "Modi ji burning files is not going to save you. Your day of judgement is coming." Yechury tweeted: "The fire at Shastri Bhawan, in such a secure place equipped with all fire fighting equipment, raises suspicions. BJP govts before demitting office, after 13 days, 13 months or then in 2004, are always keen to destroy important files (sic)."

Hitting back, Union minister and BJP leader Prakash Javadekar said lies were being peddled by the Congress president. ".@RahulGandhi ji, stop peddling lies! The fire in Shastri Bhavan has caused no damage to any files. The waste and scrap kept on the top floor caught fire and was extinguished within 30 minutes. Do your homework before casting allegations. One more jhoot of Congress! (sic)" he tweeted.