HYDERABAD: Roaring flames disposed off a major chunk of the vehicles seized over the years by police officials Wednesday. A fire that broke out at the Goshamahal Police Grounds here gutted over 600 vehicles - from push carts to old-fashioned scooters and even cars - before fire personnel could bring it under control. The burnt down vehicles included those abandoned, stolen and unclaimed ones, cops said and added that the pile had been lying there for a few decades and were only worth the scrap metal.
Shahinayathgunj police inspector Guru Raghavendra said the fire broke out around 9.45 a.m. Wednesday morning at one corner of the ground.
But it spread rapidly, thanks to the abundance of inflammable materials like rexine covers and dregs of petrol in the tanks.
Six fire tenders rushed to the spot and they even had to call for water tankers to replenish their stores as they fought the flames.
It took over two hours, by which time, 600 vehicles were stripped to their metal skeletons.
Though Shahinayathgunj police said that a lit cigarette butt thrown by a careless walker could have started the fire, senior police officials suspect an ‘inside job’.
“It has come to our notice several times that the lower rung policemen were stealing petrol and other spare parts from the vehicles and selling it to make easy money.
They might have burnt down the vehicles to cover up their misdeeds,” a senior official said.
Police said the exact loss of property cannot be ascertained as the vehicles had been piled up there for a long time.
“Majority of the vehicles were lying in the grounds over the past few decades.
Of them, several are scooters which have become outdated now,” a police official said.
The vehicles were dumped at the ground due to lack of space at police stations.
Shahinayathgunj police have registered a case of accidental fire.