KARACHI: Victims of the fire, which swept through tent homes in Karachi, forced the family involved in setting the shantytown on fire to leave the Teen Hatti vicinity in Liaquatabad.
Neighbouring women and men tortured Barju, his brother and niece demanding them to leave the area.
More than 140 huts had gutted after fire broke out in the slum area of Teen Hatti on Tuesday night.
In a video statement, 22-year-old Barju has confessed to inadvertently setting the shantytown on fire. He said his eight-year-old niece, Mamta, had lit a lamp for Bhagwan and Devi, Hindu deities. “I was present at home at that time. In the meanwhile, Mamta left the hut and I had to leave for Liaquatabad Dock Khana to bring bread. So, I tied the door of the hut with a rope. When I arrived back, I found more than half of the huts gutted,” he said.
Barju said he had ran away when people blamed him for the fire. He said it was an accident and he did not lit the fire deliberately. He claimed that his mother had kept Rs0.2 million in a box for dowry, which were also burnt to ashes in the fire.
According to Station Fire Officer Arif Usmani, no loss of life had been reported in the incident. The people, whose shanties were burnt, had to spend the cold night without shelter.
“Five fire trucks left for the scene as soon as they were informed of the blaze,” Usmani had said. He had added, “It took the team two hours to put out the fire.”
An emergency had been declared at all hydrants by the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board. According to sources, eight water tankers were sent to battle the blaze.