Kamala Mills fire: After Above 1, Mojo's too under scanner
The police have intensified their hunt for the three co-owners of the 1 Above pub, who have been untraceable following the blaze at their establishment
Restaurants and bars on the top floor of the Kamala Mills building gutted in the midnight blaze
The police have intensified their hunt for the three co-owners of the 1 Above pub, who have been untraceable following the blaze at their establishment. In addition to this, cops are also checking if Mojo's Bistro, the pub next to 1 Above, was involved in any criminal negligence that may have led to the fire. The owners of Mojo's are also under the police scanner.
The NM Joshi Marg police have booked Hratesh Sanghvi, Jigar Sanghvi and Abhijeet Manka, of Sigrid Ospitalita and Entertainment LLP, which operates the 1 Above pub. "The three and other unidentified accused have been booked under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous injury endangering safety of others), 34 (common intention) of Indian Penal Code," confirmed Virendra Mishra, DCP, zone III.
As for Mojo's, Congress MLA Nitesh Rane attached a BMC report dated August 23, which showed that its owner Yug Kaushal Pathak (son of former IPS officer and ex-Pune commissioner KK Pathak) was using its front space illegally and allowing smoking in the eating premises without any permission. Even Member of Parliament Arvind Sawant said in the parliament that there was high handedness involved in this incident and there would be no action against anyone since the commissioner's son runs the business. Apart from Yug, Siddharth Mahadevan, son of musician Shankar Mahadevan is also the co-owner of Mojo's, besides Yug Tuli and Pritina Shrestha. The top brass of the police have said none of these owners have been given a clean chit yet.
Probing into the fire, an officer privy to the probe said when it broke out, people were running towards the exit. But the fire exit gate didn't open. "According to the preliminary probe, the fire exit emergency door was blocked by stuff kept there by staff," said DCP Mishra. Cops said five teams have been formed for the investigation and statements of 25 people have been recorded. An officer said, "We are trying to retrieve as much CCTV footage from the spot and nearby area." "Our investigation would be mainly based on the findings of the fire department and the BMC's inquiry report. If the report finds any criminal negligence and any other illegalities, then accordingly, strictest action would be taken against the culprits," said DCP Mishra.
1 Above says
'1 Above has all its fire safety regulations, licenses, procedures and norms in place. There are over 10 fire extinguishers and adequate fire safety signature in the premises… There were no gas cylinders kept anywhere near our rooftop premises. As soon as the fire was noticed, the gas was turned off to avoid any further damage. The facts of the incident, as seen by our staff, indicate a rising fire that began to emanate from the adjoining quarters to 1 Above. We presume the unmanageable nature at the preliminary source of the fire resulted in its escalation to our property.'
Mojo's said in a statement, "Mojo's has all fire safety norms, certificates and procedures in place. The staff is thoroughly trained in fire drills. There were no cylinders on our premises. We are fully complying with the authorities to help." Its co-owner Siddharth Mahadevan said, "It's a restaurant that's run by my friends and I only help them financially. I'm glad that we had a fire drill a week ago and our staff managed to evacuate the place as soon as they saw the flames. I'm upset about the incident but thankful that nobody got injured at our restaurant."
Kamala Mills Fire: Shocking scenes from the fire that killed many