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Mumbai pub blaze: Pub owners sent to police custody till Jan 17

IANS | Mumbai |

A court on Thursday sent to police custody, till January 17, the three partner-owners of the 1Above pub who were nabbed after a 13-day chase on Wednesday, an official said.

The three are Kripesh Sanghavi, Jigar Sanghavi and Abhijit Mankar who also carried a reward of Rs 100,000 announced by Mumbai Police. They have been booked on various charges including for culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

While the Sanghavi brothers were nabbed while on their way to meet a lawyer in a mall in Khar late on Wednesday night on Linking Road, Mankar was nabbed from a hotel in south Mumbai.

They were produced by N.M. Joshi Police before the Bhoiwada Magistrate Court which granted the police custody for a week.

This takes the total number of arrests in the December 29, 2017 pub fire that killed 14 and injured another 55, to six, including two managers of 1Above pub – Kevin Bawa and Lisbon Lopez, and a co-owner of The Mojo’s Bistro, Yug Pathak, son of a former DGP-rank IPS officer K.K. Pathak.

Another partner of Yug Pathak, Nagpur-based businessman Yug Tuli is still absconding and has sought anticipatory bail from a Mumbai court, which is pending disposal.

Besides the six arrests, three others, including hotelier Vishal Kariya, have been arrested for helping and shielding the absconding trio after the blaze in rooftop pubs, The Mojo’s Bistro, 1Above and other establishments in the sprawling Kamala Mills Compound in Lower Parel.

After Kariya’s interrogation on Wednesday, police secured valuable leads leading to the arrests of the 1Above owner-partners.

A probe by the Mumbai Fire Brigade has said that the fire first erupted in rooftop pub The Mojo’s Bistro, spread to the adjoining 1Above and other premises that fateful night.

So far, police have recorded the statements of around 70 witnesses, including the injured and survivors in the pub blaze, other guests and pub staffers.