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RTI reply unsatisfactory, feel family members
ANN SERVICE
 SUALKUCHI, Feb 12 - The RTI reply to a petition filed by the son of Lohit Kakati, who had died along with two of his family members in a fire in a multi-storied building here in August last year, has failed to satisfy him. The callous attitude of the investigating agencies to detect the cause of the fire which apparently led to the death of three persons of the same family due to asphyxiation, has annoyed the members of the bereaved family.

It has been over six months that a fire broke out in a multi-storied building on SM Road, Sualkuchi on August 22 last year. Smoke engulfed every floor of the building and three persons died of respiratory problems. The investigating agencies including the Fire and Emergency Services, Assam and the Assam Power Distribution Company have failed to find out the actual source of the fire.

It may be mentioned that three persons including Lohit Kakati (70), the owner of the building, his daughter Kabita Kakati (30) and his grandson Mayun Dev Mahanta (one year and eight months) died in the incident and the building was damaged. Officials of the Assam Power Distribution Company and Fire Services visited the spot and took stock of the situation on the day of the incident itself and took some samples for further investigation to find out the actual source of fire. Moreover, an inquiry committee was formed with Gunajit Roy Choudhary, ADC Kamrup and Kamal Baruah, SDC Hajo Circle. But neither the inquiry report nor any findings from APDCL or the Fire and Emergency Services, Assam was communicated to the family of the victims.

As time passed, the family members got depressed over the inaction of the investigating agencies. At last Biswajit Kakati, the sole son of Lohit Kakati, the victim, applied under the RTI Act, 2005 to the Chief General Manager (HQ) APDCL on October 19 last to provide the detailed findings of examination and after three months from the date of the application, the Sub Divisional Engineer Sualkuchi Electrical Sub Division informed the applicant that the reason of fire breaking out in the shop may be due to internal wiring problem as suspected by the local people. This report came to the bereaved family as a bolt from the blue. They could not agree with the report based on people’s assumption and express doubt that some miscreants might be involved in the incident. Soon they circulated a leaflet among the people and appealed to them to help them in getting justice.

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