Main accused in Fishing Harbour incident case taken into custody

Visakhapatnam: Visakhapatnam City Police Commissioner A Ravi Shankar said the main accused in the fire incident which occurred at the Fishing Harbour on November 19 have been nabbed.

Sharing details with the media on Saturday, the Commissioner of Police said Vasupalli Nani and his uncle Mannam Hari Sitaram were arrested based on the evidence collected.

Agreeing that there are multiple reasons behind the massive fire incident, the CP briefed that since there were cylinders, fuel containers on the boats, it made the situation worse as the flames caught up like a wildfire with the support of sea breeze. “By the time the firefighters switched to another mode to douse the flames that emanated due to oil-based fire, it took a while for the situation to fall under control and the damage had already been done by then.” the CP elaborated.

Earlier, the accused were in inebriated condition at the Fishing Harbour till evening. The boats were torched after a group of fishermen got into a fight, they even threw cigarette butts after smoking over nylon fishing nets resulting in a thick smoke initially. With the presence of fuel, gas cylinders on the boat coupled with sea breeze, the situation went from bad to worse as the boats steadily caught fire at the harbour one after the other. Minutes before the incident, a few fishermen were seen at the spot, leaving the boats, the CP explained.

To trace the evidence and find out facts, the CP said, 47 CCTV cameras in and around the Fishing Harbour have been examined in detail. Cell tower dump analysis was also looked into to trace the suspects and probe them. “However, efforts will be taken to ensure that such incidents will not be repeated in future. Improving the night time patrolling, intensifying tamper-proof CCTV surveillance, and curtailing the occurrence of any illegal activities at the harbour top the priority list of concrete measures to be considered at the Fishing Harbour next,” he stated.

Further, the CP observed that the security personnel present at the harbour lack awareness about tackling emergency situations.

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