Mumbai’s Kamala Mill Fire: Toilet Of The Restro-Bar Razed To Destroy Evidence
Toilet of the 1Above resto-bar, which was gutted by a massive fire that broke out in December 2017, has been razed, thereby destroying evidence. This was revealed during the recent site visit by the independent committee which is constituted to probe the cause of the disaster.
Fourteen people lost their lives in a fire at two restaurants – 1Above and Mojo’s – inside Kamala Mills Compound on December 29, 2017.
The three-member committee, comprising of former urban development secretary K Nalinakshan, BMC counsel Joel Carlos and an architect, expressed great “shock and displeasure” at the “overnight destruction”.
The panel that had notified Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) about the visit earlier said they found attempts being made to clean up the fire site by demolishing the toilet and thereby erasing a lot of evidence.
Notices were issued to owners of the two restro-bars – 1Above and Mojo, as well as Kamala Mills owner – by the G South ward office following the visit of the committee. The notice asked them to maintain the premises and ordered against tampering with any of the evidence.
As reported by Mumbai Mirror, the notice read, “You have demolished a toilet existing in the premises of hotel ‘1Above’ and also removed the materials (sic) from both the premises i.e Hotel ‘1Above’ and Hotel Mojo’s Bistro. Directions were given to this office and Senior Police Inspector, N M Joshi Marg Police Station, to stop all activities in the premises of the incident till further directions by the Hon’ble Enquiry Committee.”
The notice further added, “In view of above, you are hereby directed to keep the incident premise as it is without tampering with any of the evidence on site.”
When Mumbai Mirror contacted Advocate Kiran Jain, representing 1Above owners, he said, “According to my clients, the possession of the licenced premises was already handed over to Mr. Govani’s representatives a few days back and it seems Govani’s contractors have demolished the toilet structures.”
Bail plea rejected
On May 10, a Mumbai court in Bhoiwada rejected the bail applications of the five accused – 1Above restro-bar owners Jigar Sanghvi, Kripesh Sanghvi and Abhijit Mankar, as well as owners of Mojo, Yug Pathak and Yugi Tulli.
The owners of both resto-bars were booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and other sections under the Indian Penal Code.
Kamala Mills fire that killed 14
On December 29, 2017, a massive fire broke out at Kamala mill, Mumbai, causing 14 deaths and leaving several others injured. The fire started from a rooftop restaurant in Mumbai’s Kamala Mills.
The firefighters listed several reasons, among them illegal construction of the building was noted to be the main cause behind the inflame. The structure had very limited exit points. There were no emergency exits as well, according to a report by NDTV. They said that the rescue operation was tough because there were combustible materials like tarpaulin and plastic cover that kept melting and falling all over, reports The Times of India. According to the firefighters, the intensity of the fire was severe in the bar area. Fireman ladders were used during the operations to bring down 30 people who were trapped within.
After the fire engulfed the building, the BMC promised to crackdown on all 30 restaurants in the compound.
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