An Edinburgh c-store retailer at the centre of a demolition wrangle has been hit by a double whammy - his store was burned out in an arson attack and then burgled.
Singh Licensed Grocer in Craigmillar is set to be bulldozed as part of a multi-million pound regeneration project (C-Store, April 7, 2006) , which has already seen the surrounding flats and shops demolished or boarded up. But owner Jaswant Singh, who has run the shop since 1985, had refused the council's offers of compensation because he wanted to be part of the revamped community.
He and his wife Shindo had just started to clear up after the blaze, which is believed to have started after a wheelie bin and mattress were placed against the wall of the Niddrie Mains Drive shop and set on fire, when burglars struck. The thieves broke through a hole in the ceiling from the empty flat above and stole what was left of the stock, including alchohol and sweets.
Ijaz Nazir, head of the local Asian Traders Association, said the fire had left the Singhs devastated. "It's terrible, they are both very upset," he said. A police spokesman said investigations were continuing.