After fire, clash erupts at Secretariat, Chief Secretary intervenes

Vishwas Mehta IAS

Thiruvananthapuram: Soon after a fire was reported at the Secretariat complex here on Tuesday evening, a clash erupted between protestors who arrived at the spot and police personnel.

Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta intervened when media persons and protestors tried to enter the building premises.

A fire was reported in the protocol section of the General Administration Department in the Secretariat which led to the gutting of several office files. The fire occurred at a time when the National investigation Agency demanded some documents from the protocol officer in connection with the gold smuggling case. Opposition parties cried foul and alleged a deliberate attempt to destroy evidence and protect the perpetrators.

However, Chief Secretary told media that a fair probe will be conducted into the incident and more details are being looked into.

“The initials reports suggest it was not a major fire and was able to bring it under control. I haven’t visited the spot. There is nothing to hide,” Mehta said.

BJP state president K Surendran visited the spot and protested soon after the fire broke out. They were arrested and removed by police resulting in a clash.

Surendran alleged that the fire was a deliberate attempt to destroy important files relating to gold smuggling.

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