Fire at Delhi’s Shastri Bhawan triggers political row; officials say no files destroyed

NEW DELHI: A fire broke out Tuesday afternoon at central Delhi’s Shastri Bhawan that houses several Central Government ministries, triggering a war of words between the ruling BJP and opposition parties over “burning of files”, though an official said no documents were destroyed.

The fire broke out at 2.15 pm on the terrace of the six-storeyed building, which is located in the high security India Gate-Parliament House area, the Delhi fire department said.

Seven fire engines were rushed to the spot and the blaze was brought under control by 2.55 pm, a senior official of the department said.

“The fire erupted in the scrap and no files were gutted,” Atul Garg, Delhi Chief Fire Officer, said.

After this afternoon’s blaze, 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.”

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. (AGENCIES)