Police on Monday arrested two managers of the upscale ‘1 Above’ pub, where a fire claimed 14 lives last week, over allegations that they fled without helping the guests and have been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
The arrests took place even as the city civic body continued its crackdown on illegal constructions at hotels, restaurants and commercial establishments for the fourth day today. The massive fire that swept through the pub located at the Kamala Mills compound in Lower Parel area here on December 29 also left 21 injured.
Gibson Lopez (34) and Kevin Bawa (35) were arrested by a team of sleuths from the N M Joshi Marg police station, a police official said. Both Lopez and Bawa were working as managers at the pub.
They were present in the pub when the blaze occurred in the early hours of December 29, the official said and alleged that they fled without helping the guests.
“We have arrested both the managers,” senior police inspector Ahmad Pathan told PTI.
They have been booked under IPC sections 304 ( culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt by an act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 34 (acts are done by several persons in furtherance of common intention), he said. The punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder may extend up to 10 years or be a life term.
The two were produced in a local court, which remanded them in police custody till January 9.
However, the main accused of the case—the pub owners— are still at large. Police have sent their teams to various places in Maharashtra and also outside the state to nab the main accused, he said.
Police had booked the pub owners, Hitesh Sanghvi and Jigar Sanghvi, co-owner Abhijeet Manka and others on various charges, including culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
According to the official, police also have issued a lookout notice against the main accused.
The police on Sunday arrested two persons for allegedly providing shelter to the pub owners. Sanghvi brothers’ uncle Rakesh Sanghvi and cousin Aditya Sanghvi were arrested while a search was on for another relative Mahendra Sanghvi, according to Avinash Shingthe, senior police inspector, Byculla.
Rakesh and Aditya were produced later before a court in Bhoiwada which granted them bail on a bond of Rs 25,000 each.
On the directions of Brihanmumbai Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta, illegal alterations and constructions were being razed in the Todi Mill and Raghuvanshi Mills areas since this morning, a senior civic official said.
In the last three days, several structures were razed in the Kamala Mills compound area, he said, adding demolition drives would be conducted regularly to keep a check on unauthorized constructions.
The BMC demolished illegal constructions and alterations at over 355 establishments in the city till Sunday.
Civic officials inspected 615 establishments and initiated action against 355 hotels, restaurants and pubs for the illegalities till yesterday, it said.
Besides, 426 LPG cylinders were seized from various eateries for violation of norms related to their use and storage or construction of kitchens among other reasons, a release from the BMC on Sunday said.
The BMC also asked owners of commercial establishments to assess, on their own, if their premises followed all norms related to fire safety.