Kurla res­tau­rant fire: Po­lice ar­rest owner

LAST MONTH

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - - METRO RASH&NEGLIGENT - HT Cor­re­spon­dent

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).

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