Locals from Margao city, along the Eastern bypass of Davorlim and Arlem areas, were in for a shock yesterday after they came to realise that almost five different vehicles, all at various locations, were set on fire. All the vehicles were completely destroyed, as locals, including the police, were clueless about what really happened.
Initially, the Margao police control room received a phone call stating that a fire was reported, and after the fire department officials dozed the fire that destroyed a Winger van and returned back, it received information that another vehicle, a mini-bus, was set on fire just a little away from the first incident.
This, however, was not the last. After dozing off the fire that engulfed the mini-bus, information was obtained that another vehicle, this time a tempo traveler, went up in raging flames.
Subsequently, what left locals and police, including fire officials puzzled, was that another two more vehicles, all along the same route of Margao’s Eastern Bypass road were on fire.
By evening, in total, five vehicles were set ablaze, all of them completely destroyed. The sad part being, a few of the vehicles were in good condition and the owners had parked them along the highway road as certain repair works were underway for their vehicles. Among the five, one was a luxury bus belonging to a travel bus operator company.
After locals were aware of these incidents, some alert persons noticed one man roaming around the Fatorda area. He was caught after it was noticed that he smashed a glass windscreen of another car in the Fatorda area. He was apparently carrying some liquid substance and a lighter. Sources say that he was carrying with him inflammable substances.
Police Inspector Margao police station Sachin Narvekar clarified that the accused was arrested. He has been identified as Anthony D’Souza from the surrounding Sao Jose de Areal area.
According to sources, the accused poured the inflammable substance onto the front part of the vehicle’s engine and cabin area and then lit it on fire. The resulting fires destroyed the vehicles completely as it immediately spread to the entire body of the vehicle.
It is, however, still not certain why exactly the accused indulged in such an activity destroying property. As of now, it is only certain that the accused worked as a security guard at a local supermarket store.
Passers-by were shocked to see the vehicles up in flames, as a thick cloud of black smoke engulfed certain areas. “The bus was completely engulfed and fire officials were trying their best to control the flames. It was a little further than we noticed another vehicle completely destroyed also in a fire,” said one local passing through the area.
Fire brigade officials were on their toes till the late evening after all the fires were brought under control and the accused was caught red-handed.