Office gutted, rehab centre torched

OSR/Our Correspondent
IMPHAL/TBL, May 18: While a rehabilitation centre in Lilong Shantipur was allegedly set ablaze, a PHED office building in Thoubal was reduced to ashes yester-day night.
The New Dawn Rehabilitation Centre in Lilong Shantipur, under Irilbung police station in Imphal East district was due to be inaugurated.
The fire at the centre was noticed at around 11.10 pm yesterday. While some properties inside the centre were gutted by the fire, it was brought under control and put out in time averting a major disaster.
The fire burnt articles kept in a portion of the building used as kitchen.
Speaking to reporters, the centre's chief functionary, Haobam Nganba said he doesn't believe the fire was caused by an electric short circuit. He asserted the centre may have been set ablaze by unknown persons.
"It is very unfortunate. I don't believe it was an electric short circuit that caused the fire. If any individuals or groups don't want the rehabilitation centre to be set up here, they must approach the centre. All issues can be resolved through talks," he said.
On the other hand, the PHED office building having six rooms was reduced to ashes by an inferno at around 11.30 pm yesterday.
The PHED office was located some 500 metres from Thoubal police station.
The chowkidar of the office said he noticed the fire at around 11.30 pm and was able to evacuate himself and inform the officers.
The chowkidar said he woke up from sleep hearing some noises and noticed the fire.
Fire tenders arrived at the spot and put out the fire.
The fire, suspected to be caused by an electric short circuit, burnt and destroyed office documents and properties kept in the rooms of the Executive Engineer, Assistant Engineer, SO and others.