Sharad Tripathi, the contractor who had been running City Kinara for the last seven years has been absconding since Friday’s blaze.
The police during investigations on Friday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
Senior Police inspector from VB Nagar police station, Praveen More said they were trying to ascertain whether Tripathi had all licences in place to run the eatery.
Following the blaze, a police team that was conducting preliminary inquiries tried locating Tripathi in order to get to the cause of the fire, but he was missing. “By then, he had escaped. Five other cooks and waiters had also fled. Even Tripathi’s family is untraceable,” said More.
The police said, following the incident, Tripathi’s wife was seen around their residence, which is a stone’s throw from the eatery. “We questioned her but she said she had no clue where her husband was. It was late evening, and we had to relieve her as per Supreme Court guidelines,” said an officer, requesting anonymity.
Tripathi, who had fled anticipating public fury, according to the police, has been booked under sections 304 (2), 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combustible matter) and 34 (acts done by several persons with the furtherance of common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and teams have been formed to trace him.
Shiv Sena worker, Balkrishna Gawde from Kurla, said, “Earlier this week, Tripathi’s workers had complained to him about the condition of the gas pipes but he didn’t seem to have done anything.” City Kinara owner Sudisha Hegde is in Managlore and the party’s lawyer wrote to the VB Nagar police on Saturday, assuring full cooperation in the probe.