Indore: Rejected lover causes building fire killing 7; arrested
A 28-year-old man, named Shubham Dixit, was arrested late on Saturday after he allegedly set fire to a building in Indore, killing seven people and injuring nine others. The police said that Dixit wanted to take revenge on a woman who lived in the building. She was allegedly in a relationship with Dixit but broke up recently and decided to marry someone else.
The police said that Dixit, on the intervening night of Friday and Saturday, set fire to a two-wheeler belonging to the woman who allegedly rejected him. After he torched the woman's scooter in the building's parking area, the flames dispersed and swallowed up the entire building. The woman in question, along with her mother, however, used a rope to safely exit the building.
The incident claimed seven lives and most victims died due to asphyxiation. Some residents reportedly jumped off their balconies and terrace to save themselves. Eyewitnesses alleged the fire tenders arrived late. The police said the building is in a narrow alley and that's why firefighters took longer to reach the spot. However, firefighters later rescued people trapped inside the building and doused the blaze.
Dixit, alias Sanjay, is a Jhansi resident. After the fire incident, he was arrested late on Saturday night in Lohamandi. While attempting to flee, he injured his leg and hand. Indore's Vijay Nagar Police Station in-charge, Tehzeeb Qazi, said that the police first hospitalized Dixit and then arrested him. Reports said he would be produced in court on Sunday.
Dixit also reportedly lent the woman Rs. 10,000. On Friday night, he called and demanded her to return the money. "The conversation...turned into a bitter argument... He came to the parking area of the building, took out petrol from a bike, poured it on the woman's scooty, and set it afire," said Qazi. During the investigation, cops examined footage from over 100 CCTV cameras.
"The accused, Shubham Dixit, said he just wanted to set the scooty on fire because the woman cheated on him and he didn't know the consequences," said Indore Police Commissioner HN Mishra. Mishra also said that during the investigation, they discovered Dixit had cases filed against him in Delhi as well. "We will request the court for police remand to interrogate him," he said.
The Madhya Pradesh Police earlier stated the fire was started by an electric short circuit on the building's ground floor, citing some witnesses, before discovering Dixit's involvement. Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan has ordered an investigation into the incident and announced an ex gratia of Rs. 4 lakh to the next of kin of each deceased person.