Two weeks after Kamala Mills fire, '1Above' pub co-owner Abjijeet Mankar arrested; all three owners in custody

In a fresh breakthrough in the Kamala Mills fire case, Mumbai Police arrested the absconding '1Above' pub co-owner Abhijeet Mankar on Thursday morning, a day after the other co-owners of the pub — Jigar Sanghvi and Kripesh Sanghvi — were detained.

"Our team arrested owner of the 1Above pub, Abhijeet Mankar, from Marine Lines in the early hours," Ahmed Pathan, senior police inspector, NM Joshi Marg Police Station told PTI.

With all the three owners of '1Above' pub in police custody, the only accused missing now is Yug Tuli, the owner of Mojo's Bistro, where the fire that killed 14 people on 29 December originated in the Kamala Mills Compound.

On Wednesday night, after being on the run for nearly 14 days, Jigar Sanghvi and Kripesh Sanghvi — '1Above' pub co-owners — wanted in connection with the case were arrested from Link Road, in Bandra, Mumbai.

All the arrested accused will be produced before the Bhoiwada Court on Thursday afternoon.

The police had on Tuesday arrested Vishal Karia, a hotelier, for allegedly giving shelter to the Sanghvi brothers and Abhijeet Mankar - owners of the '1Above' pub.

File image of the fire in Kamala Mills. PTI

File image of the fire in Kamala Mills. PTI

"Vishal Karia, who owns hotels and pubs in the city, was placed under arrested after a team of NM Joshi Marg Police picked him for questioning," Deputy Commissioner of Police Akhilesh Mishra told PTI.

During the investigation, it came to light that 42-year-old Karia sheltered Kripesh Sanghvi, Jigar Sanghvi and Abhijeet Mankar at his residence, he said.

Police recovered a high-end car of Mankar, which was found parked at Karia's place, he said.

“During interrogation, Karia had revealed that he had advised the absconding accused to seek legal help from a prominent lawyer. Following the lead, a team was kept stationed near the lawyer’s residence. Between 11 pm and 11.30 pm on Wednesday, the two brothers were apprehended near Link Road in Bandra. The team was waiting in a car and after spotting the duo crossing the road, a few officials chased and caught them,” a senior officer told The Indian Express on condition of anonymity.

The trio have been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and other offences under the Indian Penal Code. The police had also announced a reward of Rs 1 lakh for information about their whereabouts.

Hunt on for Mojo's Bistro owner Yug Tuli

"Now our teams are in search of Yug Tuli, owner of Mojo's Bistro pub, who is also on the run," another police official told PTI. Tulli was spotted at Hyderabad airport on Tuesday, but was unable to fly. He later disappeared from the spot, he said.

"Our teams are trying to trace him in Hyderabad," the official said. "The hearing on Tuli's anticipatory bail application is scheduled for Thursday, following which further action will be decided according to the orders of the court," he said.

Last week, Tuli's partner in Mojo’s, Yug Pathak, son of retired director general of police and former commissioner of police, Pune, KK Pathak, was arrested.

According to police, the action was taken on the basis of Fire Brigade report, which said the fire broke out from Mojo's Bistro and spread to '1Above'.

A Bhoiwada sessions court on Tuesday sent managers of Kamala Mills pub '1Above', Kevin Bawa and Lisbon Lopez to judicial custody till 22 January and adjourned the anticipatory bail application of Yug Tuli, owner of Mojo's Bistro, till 11 January.

On 29 December, fire had swept through the '1Above' and adjacent Mojo's Bistro resto pub in Kamala Mills compound in central Mumbai, resulting in the death of 14 people.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Jan 11, 2018 11:06:25 IST