BSNL warehouse gutted, loss Rs 40 crore

Fire razes the BSNL store room-cum-warehouse at Mawlai Mawiong on the outskirts of the city on Sunday night.
(Photo by Sanjib Bhattacharjee)

Police suspect ‘arson’

SHILLONG: In the worst ever damage to property during the current agitation over implementation of ILP, an unprotected BSNL store room-cum-warehouse at Mawlai Mawiong was torched by unidentified miscreants at around 11.30 pm on Sunday.

According to BSNL Manager Mansoor Alam, the initial loss due to the damage of equipments, mostly telecom and mobile tower materials, is around Rs 40 crore.

The exact reason of the fire incident is not known, but police suspect it to be the result of petrol bomb attack. A neighbour said that he heard an explosion at night and rushed out of his home to find that the store rooms had gone up in flames.

Though four fire tenders were pressed into service, the firemen continued to douse the massive fire till Monday early morning as smoke billowed out of the makeshift warehouse.

The unprotected sprawling area where the BSNL store room is located is usually manned by two private security guards. However, there were no guards on Sunday night when the incident took place.

Earlier, the State Government had alerted those who man Government buildings to remain on vigil to thwart any case of arson attacks.