In the latest developments of the Kamala Mills fire case, absconding co-owner of the resto-pub 1Above Abhijeet Mankar was arrested by Mumbai Police, today morning, 11th January. His arrest comes a day after co-owners and brothers Kripesh and Jigar Sanghvi were nabbed in Bandra. The hunt for the trio lasted around a weeks’ time. Yug Tulli, owner of Mojo’s Bistro, is the only accused who is missing.
The Sanghvi brothers were apprehended at Link Road, Bandra on Tuesday, only a day after hotelier and alleged cricket bookie Vishal Karia provided the police with the leads. Karia was taken into custody after he was suspected to give shelter to Mankar and the Sanghvi brothers.
“During interrogation, Karia had revealed that he had advised the absconding accused to seek legal help from a prominent lawyer. Following the lead, a team was kept stationed near the lawyer’s residence. Between 11 pm and 11.30 pm on Wednesday, the two brothers were apprehended near Link Road in Bandra. The team was waiting in a car and after spotting the duo crossing the road, a few officials chased and caught them,” a senior police officer told the Indian Express.
The Mumbai police registered a case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against Karia and the owners of 1Above – Mankar and the Sanghvis. Initially, the case was registered only against the owners of 1Above but later even the owners of Mojo’s Bistro were included in the list.
Yug Pathak, the son of a retired IPS officer and one of the owners of the Mojo's Bistro pub, was arrested last week and sent to five-day police custody.
Crying foul over the investigation were the owners of 1Above, who have accused the police of hatching a conspiracy against them. They had written to the President, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Mumbai Police Commissioner and the chief of the city's civic body, demanding that the matter be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The owners accused the police of "destroying the evidence on site and making false reports”.
The probe of the fire department revealed that the fire started at Mojo’s Bistro as the flying embers of from the burning charcoal of the hukkas touched the curtains of the pub on December 29, 2017. The fire then spread to 1Above. Reportedly, Mojo’s don’t have clearance to serve hookahs. The fire department stated that both pubs had illegal structures and defied fire safety norms. The fire killed 14 people, most of them were patrons of 1Above who had died of suffocation in the toilet.