SHIMLA: Renowned writer and social activist Saroj Vashisht, who dedicated her life to the welfare of prisoners, today died of suffocation after her house caught fire due to short circuit in Vikasnagar here, police said.
The incident happened when fire broke at her residence in the wee hours. 83-year-old Vashisht, who was alone in her flat at the time of mishap, died before any medical aid could be given to her, police said.
People in her neighbourhood saw thick smoke emitting from her house and informed the police, which called the fire brigade.
A team of fire brigade reached the spot and immediately swung into action. The house was filled with smoke and Saroj Vashisht was lying unconscious in the bathroom," Chief fire officer, Bhopal Chauhan, said.
She was immediately rushed to IGMC Hospital, where the doctors declared her "brought dead".
She was suffocated and choked to death due to thick smoke and her LED, computer, printer, books, beddings, documents and other belongings were burnt, Chauhan said.
DSP Bhajan Negi, who rushed to the spot, said that it appears that the fire occurred due to short circuit and started from the bedroom and spread to other rooms and the bathroom.
The police have registered a case to ascertain the cause of fire and investigations are in progress, he added.
Saroj Vashisht contributed immensely to the society and remained in Tihar Jail in the nineties as a theatre artist and published three poetry books authored by Tihar jail inmates.
She also played an important role in encouraging the inmates to exhibit their hidden talents.
Himachal Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh has mourned the death of Saroj Vashisht and lauded her contribution to the society by remaining engaged in social welfare activities.