Kurla restaurant fire: Police arrest owner
MUMBAI: More than a month after the fire at Kinara hotel in Kurla, in which eight people died, seven of whom were students, the VB Nagar police on Saturday arrested the owner.
The police arrested S Hegde, 48, after investigations revealed that he was involved in constructing the hotel.
“He was the one who was involved in constructing the ground plus one structure and had later rented it out to the main accused, Sharad Tripathi, who ran the restaurant. He used to get a rent of Rs25, 000,” said Pravin More, senior inspector, VB Nagar police station.
The police had earlier arrested Tripathi after investigations revealed that there was no fire audit done and neither was there a fire extinguisher that was kept in the hotel.
There was no space for those in the upper dining area to run to safety in case of a fire. “Hegde lives in Bengaluru where he runs an event management firm. He has been sent to police custody up to Monday,” More said. On October 16, the eight people who were charred to death were on the illegally-built mezzanine floor.
The gas cylinders on the mezzanine floor were connected
Hegde’s lawyer said he did not look after the operations of the restaurant.
“Hegde has supported the police in the investigations right from the beginning. He has nothing to do with the incident as he had entered into an agreement with Tripathi more to burners in the kitchen on the ground floor.
The connections were faulty, which resulted in a gas leak and eventually the fire, the police said.
than 7-8 years ago,” said his counsel Kushal Mor.
On October 16, the eight people who were charred to death were on the illegally-built mezzanine floor.
The seven students who died were from the nearby Don Bosco Institute of Technology. The gas cylinders on the mez zanine floor were connected to burners in the kitchen on the ground floor.
The connections were faulty, which resulted in a gas leak and eventually the fire the police said. Moreover, the upper floor was meant to be a store room that was illegally converted into a dining area.
The accused have been booked under section 304 (part II) for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, 285 (negligent conduct with respect to fire or combusti ble matter) and 34 (common intention).