It was a rude wake up call for residents in and around Pune’s Sinhagad area, as their weekend slumber was foiled by more than 90 burning vehicles exploding. The incident happened in the wee hours of Sunday, when an unidentified vandal torched 92 parked vehicles, which includes 77 two-wheelers, eight cars and seven bicycles. The victimised vehicles reside in five residential societies and a pizza outlet, all located on a five-km stretch on Sinhagad Road.
Two CCTV cameras have captured the suspect in the act. According to authorities, the footage reveals a well-built man, who arrived on a scooter, severing the fuel pipes of the motorcycles and then setting them on fire. He initiated his attack at 3.17 am by torching 29 pizza delivery motorcycles parked outside a pizza outlet at Anandnagar. By cutting the fuel lines of a handful of motorcycles and setting them on fire, it didn’t take much time for the rest to be engulfed in flames. The security guard of the pizza outlet was fast asleep inside, and didn’t have a clue until it was too late.
Following his initial assault, the suspect moved to Suryanagari housing society off Sun City road and torched 13 motorcycles, one car and seven bicycles. Post that, it was Swaminarayan housing society’s turn, located a few metres away from the Sinhagad road police station, where as many as seventeen motorcycles and three cars were charred. Not content with his vandalism for the night, he continued his fiery assault at three more places thereafter, which left eighteen more motorcycles and four cars charred.
Panic stricken residents had to move to the upper floors or terraces of their respective housing societies as the acrid flames entered the stairways and threatened to engulf the lower lying homes. Thankfully, no casualties have been reported apart from a couple of minor injuries and burns. Authorities believe that the nocturnal miscreant targeted the societies at random, and the cause of his assault are still unknown as investigations are under way. Hopefully, he’ll soon be bought to justice.
Images : The Indian Express