The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad on Thursday alleged "foul play" behind the Wednesday night's devastating blaze at Bhatyas in Doda district of Jammu and Kashmir in which about 45 shops had reportedly been gutted.
Expressing his shock over this incident, the senior Congress leader Azad expressed "serious doubts" about the cause of fire, stressing that this was the second such incident there over the last seven days.
The former J & K chief minister Azad said several fire incidents have occurred in that area in recent days, alleging that there seemed to be a "deep conspiracy" and that "some organisation" was behind these incidents.
"Some powder like inflammable substance was seen at the site of fire. This has given room to suspicion of a foul play. Authorities must look into the causes of repeated fire incidents at this particular site," Azad said.
Urging the J & K administration to provide urgent help and financial assistance to the victims of such devastating fire incidents, Azad also demanded that an "immediate inquiry must be conducted to uncover the mystery of such fire incidents taking place in a particular area."
Noting that the destruction due to the blaze could have been restricted in the affected belt in Doda if proper fire-fighting equipment and facilities had been there, Azad demanded that they should be ensured for areas like Gawari, Bathri, Kahara, Malikpora, Gandoh and Bhatyas in J & K.