The Kamala Mills fire: a look at how the events unfolded

1Above’s third partner held; trio in 7-day police custody

Nowhere to run: Abhijit Mankar, one of the partners of 1Above, being taken to Bhoiwada court on Thursday.

Nowhere to run: Abhijit Mankar, one of the partners of 1Above, being taken to Bhoiwada court on Thursday.  

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Juhu resident Vishal Karia’s arrest gives police breakthrough

Mumbai: Hour after arresting Kripesh and Jigar Sanghvi, the co-owners of 1Above at Kamala Mills, the N.M. Joshi Marg police on Thursday morning arrested Abhijit Mankar, the third partner.

The trio were booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder after 14 patrons of the pub were killed in a fire that broke out at the nearby Mojo’s Bistro in the early hours of December 29.

The breakthrough in the search for the trio, against whom a lookout notice had been issued and a cash reward announced, came with the arrest of Juhu resident Vishal Karia on Tuesday. Mr. Karia was arrested for allegedly harbouring the accused after Mr. Mankar’s car was found outside his residence.

“Mr. Karia’s interrogation provided us with the possible whereabouts of the trio and we first picked up the Sanghvis late on Wednesday night from near Kentucky Fried Chicken outlet in Khar. They were arrested at around 12.05 a.m.. We picked up Mr. Mankar, who was staying at Marine Plaza hotel at Marine Drive,” said a senior police officer.

Mr. Mankar was arrested at 7.30 a.m., and the trio were produced at Metropolitan Magistrate’s court in Bhoiwada.

Public prosecutor Sanjay Wadhwane said the trio, apart from being charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, should be charged for absconding from the system. He also said the owners of 1Above and Bistro should be punished equally.

Advocate Kiran Jha, who appeared for the three accused, said, “According to a probe by the fire brigade, the fire broke out at Bistro, which had no licence to function as a hookah parlor. Flying embers from charcoal and sigdi hit the cotton-nylon curtains of the pub and led to the fire. The police have tried framing the owners of 1Above without proper evidence.”

The defence also accused the police of trying to help the owners of Bistro, as they are much more influential than the Sanghvis. After hearing the arguments, the court remanded the trio in police custody for seven days.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 5:35:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/1aboves-third-partner-held-trio-in-7-day-police-custody/article22423999.ece

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