Secretariat fire not caused by short circuit, reiterates forensic team

Secretariat fire not caused due to short circuit, reiterates forensic team

Thiruvananthapuram: The forensic division of the Kerala Police has reiterated that a freak fire at the protocol wing of the state secretariat in late August was not caused by short circuit.

Scientific officer Sahra Mohammed of the forensic lab (Physics division) asserted the stance in a statement given to the special investigation team of the police.

As per the statement, her team couldn't find out that a short circuit had caused the fire. 

During the fire incident, the motor of the wall fan was found to be burnt. The forensic science lab at Thiruvananthapuram does not have the facilities to thoroughly examine the electric wire, the scientific officer said in the statement.

In the final report submitted in court, the forensic wing stated that it could not find the cause of the fire and there was no evidence that the fire spread from the wall fan. 

Curiously, the forensic report also mentioned that two liquor bottles which were found from the protocol division had remains of alcohol. Earlier the chemistry division of the Kerala State Forensic Science Laboratory too had made analysis regarding this.  

The earlier reports submitted by the Disaster Management Commissioner, PWD department, fire force, and electrical inspectorate had concluded that the short circuit had caused the fire at the protocol division in the Secretariat on August 25.  However, the findings in the forensic division's final report completely reject these.

As per the findings of the special investigation team of the police, the short circuit from the wall fan had caused the fire. The special team even came up with a graphic video of the incident to counter the forensic final report.

The fire incident took place while the investigation into the gold smuggling case was in progress. The opposition had then alleged that the files in the protocol office were set ablaze to sabotage the investigations.

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