People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 26

July 06 , 2008



Fire Accident In Prajasakti Printing Press

                                  M Venugopala Rao

A major fire accident took place at Prajasakti daily printing press in  the cellar of M B Bhavan, the state headquarters of the CPI(M), on 22 June 2008 in Hyderabad causing a loss of  more than one crore rupees, with stocks of reels of newsprint, generator and some other machines and materials gutted.  Short-circuit is considered as the cause of the fire accident.  But for the immediate efforts of the leaders and workers of the CPI(M) and staff at M B Bhavan and staff of Prajasakti and leaders and workers of various mass organisations who rushed to the spot on being informed of the incident to extinguish the fire, apart from the fire engines pressed into service, the damage and loss would have been much more.  B V Raghavulu, Polit Bureau member and state secretary of the CPI(M), Prajasakti general manager and chairman of Prajasakti Sahithi Samstha V Krishnaiah and CPI(M) MLC Ch Sitaramulu were among the leaders  who swung into action and guided the staff and workers in the efforts to extinguish the fire and remove partially burnt reels of newsprint, papers and other materials from the cellar.  In the process of removing burning reels of newsprint Krishnaiah and some others sustained injuries.

At around 9 am  due to short-circuit at the press panel, fire caught the nearby reels of newsprint and other papers and spread rapidly, with smoke billowing above the three-storied building. Watchmen immediately informed the police and staff of Prajasakti.  Five fire engines were pressed into service and after one and a half hours, the fire was extinguished.  Films, cutting machine, camera unit and store room also were gutted in the accident.   

Chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and president of Lok Satta Party Jayaprakash Narayan talked to Raghavulu over the phone and enquired about the incident.  State secretary of the CPI, K Narayana, its floor leader in the legislative assembly, Ch Venkata Reddy, Congress MLA T Manemma, local leaders of the TDP, M N Srinivas and M Gopal, resident editor of Visalandhra K Srinivasa Reddy and its general manger Chenchaiah, floor leader of the progressive democratic front in the legislative council, D Ramireddy, and president and general secretary of Andhra Pradesh Working Journalists' Federation P Parameswara Rao and G Anjaneyulu were among those who visited the place of fire accident. Y Venkateswara Rao, state secretariat member of the CPI(M) was with them.  In a statement, V Krishnaiah thanked all those leaders and others who visited the place of fire accident and enquired about it over telephone and the staff of Prajasakti and leaders and workers of the Hyderabad city committee of the CPI(M) and of mass organisations for their efforts to extinguish the fire braving the danger involved in the process and the officers and staff of fire brigades and the police for preventing further intensification of the fire.