Assam Northeast

Massive inferno from illegally-stored, charred down houses and livestock

-Avishek Sengupta

A massive blaze caught from illegally stored oil had on Thursday night injured a person and gutted down at least three establishments with livestock inside a residence in West Bilashpur of Chirang district of Bodoland Territorial Council.

According to police, the owner of the residence, Munnaf Ali, had illegally stored petrol and kerosene in huge barrels that caught fire.

“We are searching Ali, but he os absconding currently. We believe he stole those from nearby Bongaigaon,” Chirang additional SP Bedanta Borkakoti who rushed to the burn site, said.

The residence of Munnaf Ali is within a compound that had a few establishments, huts for livestock’s and barrels of oil kept.

“When the fire caught one of the barrels and spilled over, the other barrels started exploding spurting fire into the other nearby establishments too…a few domestic animals kept in the huts have died while several other are badly injured” an eyewitness said.

Fire tenders from nearby Kajalgaon rushed in but failed to douse the fire.

“Finally, the industrial-grade fire tenders from Bongaigaon came in and with its aid, fire was doused,” police sources said.

Sources in Chirang police said it has joined hands with Bongaigaon police to investigate into an alleged oil smuggling racket after this incident.

“A racket is active in Bangaigaon and BTC districts that siphons oil from BRPL Bongaigaon and stores illegally so that they can sell those to the remote locations where there aren’t many petrol pumps” police sources said.

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