Three days after the blaze at City Kinara restaurant killed eight people, the police have arrested the manager, Sharad Tripathi. Immediately after the incident, Tripathi was nowhere to be found, raising suspicions that he had fled the scene, but the cops later tracked him down at a Bandra hospital.

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Sharad Tripathi, who has been running City Kinara for the last seven years, was arrested yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande
Sharad Tripathi, who has been running City Kinara for the last seven years, was arrested yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande

In his statement to the police, Tripathi said he was not trying to flee, but was afraid for his health after his head was injured in the incident. mid-day had reported that Tripathi had left the scene within minutes of the fire erupting on Friday.

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The VB Nagar police found him at Holy Family Hospital the next day, and took him into custody when he was discharged at 2 pm yesterday. In his statement, he added that when the fire started, he had tried to go upstairs and help the customers trapped on the first floor, but a flaming object fell on his head.

“Tripathi ran outside and switched off the main electric switch. He wanted to help the customers but as soon as he got hurt, he began to feel dizzy. He had suffered head injuries and recently had had a paralytic attack, so he rushed to hospital,” said Senior police inspector Praveen More from VB Nagar police station.

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The Holy Family Hospital refused to divulge details about Tripathi’s condition as it is a medico-legal case, but medical director Dr Armeda Fernandez said he was stable at the time of discharge. “The patient was referred to us and after treating him for three days, we discharged him once the doctors ensured that he was stable,” she said.

Tripathi’s statement was recorded over the course of five hours by three investigating officers and a writer, under More’s supervision, after which he was taken for a medical evaluation and then arrested.