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Fire at Kerala Secretariat, Oppn alleges conspiracy to sabotage evidence in gold smuggling probe

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Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 25: A fire broke out in the protocol department in the North block of the Secretariat here, housing important offices, on Tuesday evening, but was brought under control, fire and rescue department said.

The department was informed at around 4.45 pm about the blaze and fire engines left for the secretariat immediately, the sources told PTI.

Representational Image

P Honey, Additional secretary, Housekeeping Cell at the Secretariat, said a short circuit from a computer is suspected to have triggered the blaze, which has been doused.

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'No important files have been destroyed. They are all safe', the official told a television channel.

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    There were only two people in the office as the remaining staff had gone on quarantine, he said, adding they were not injured.

    The opposition Congress-led UDF in the state has alleged attempts to sabotage the investigations into the gold smuggling case, in which Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan's office has come under scrutiny.

    "Very important files regarding the gold smuggling case have been completely destroyed. No backup file is available. This is a suspicious case. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan is responsible for this," said Ramesh Chennithala, Congress leader.

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