Srinagar: A 65-year-old man was charred to death after a massive fire broke out in Buchwara, Dalgate area of Srinagar on Monday morning.
The deceased has been identified as Mohammad Ramzan sheikh a resident of Tral.
“The elderly man was putting up at a relative’s house. Because of his age, he couldn’t remove himself from the burning house and was eventually trapped only to be burnt alive,” said an officer from Nehru Park Police Post. “His body was retrieved from beneath the rubble lateron.”
As per the locals, fire emerged from the house of one Farooq Ahmad Shiekh at 11:00 am reportedly due to short-circuit. Some 23 structures were soon consumed by the devastating ablaze.
Nearly fifteen fire tenders were rushed to the spot to bring the fire under control, a Fire and Emergency Services Department official told Kashmir Observer. “Due to the highly congested neighbourhood with no road access, fire-fighters faced a lot of difficulties in reaching the affected area.”
Most of the houses have been completely destroyed in the inferno. “We lost almost everything,’’ said Showkat Ahamad, Mohalla President Bachwara.
“Some 66 chulahas have been destroyed in the devastating fire.”
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Wailing and sobbing, women were seen sitting on the debris of their lost houses. “Fire has rendered us homeless in a matter of few hours,” said a group of women.
Some women were seen holding copies of Holy Qur'an in their hands to ward off the blaze.
According to the victims, property worth crores was gutted in the fire, leaving next to nothing. Their only hope now is assistance from the state government for their rehabilitation.
The owners of the damaged houses and shops were identified as Bilal Ahmad Sheikh, son of Late Abdul Ahad Sheikh, Showkat Ahmad Sheikh, son of Late Abdul Khaliq, Showkat Ahmad Sheikh, son of Late Ghulam Muhammad Sheikh, Dilawar Ahmad Sheikh, son of Late Ghulam Rasool Sheikh, Shabir Ahmad Sheikh, son of Late Muhammad Maqbool Sheikh, Habibulla Shekh, son of Late Ghulam Muhammad Sheikh, Abdul Aziz Sheikh, son of Late Abdul Rahim Sheikh, Farooq Ahmad Darzi, son of Late Ghulam Muhammad Darzi, Ghulam Muhammad Sheikh, son of Late Fatah Sheikh, Abdul Rashid Dar, son of Late Abdul Gani Dar, Bilal Ahmad Sheikh, son of Late Bashir Ahmad Sheikh, Javaid Ahmad Sheikh, son of Late Bashir Ahmad Sheikh, Javaid Ahmad Sheikh, son of Late Ghulam Muhammad Sheikh, Hilal Ahmad Malik, son of Late Ghulam Qadir Malik, Shakeel Ahmad Teli, son of Late Abdul Ahad Teli, Muhammad Yaqoob Khan, son of Late Ghulam Ahmad Khan, Farooq Ahmad Sheikh, son of Late Muhammad Ramzan Sheikh, Ghulam Muhammad Khosa, son of Late Ghulam Ahmad Khosa, Tahir Ahmad Sheikh, son of Ghulam Ahmad Sheikh, Tariq Ahmad Sheikh, Late Abdul Gani Sheikh, Abdul Rashid Punjabi, son of Muhammad Ramzan Punjabi, Muhammad Shafi Sheikh, son of Farooq Ahmad Sheikh, Muhammad Yousuf Sheikh, son of Muhammad Akbar Sheikh, Muhammad Ashraf, son of Late Ghulam Muhammad Sheikh.
Meanwhile, former chief minister of the state, Omar Abdullah tweeted about the incident and said, “My heart goes out to the residents of these homes,” Omar wrote on twitter. “I hope the government steps in with some assistance.”