MUMBAI: The Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court here Monday sent two managers of the 1 Above pub in connection with last week's Kamala Mills Compound fire tragedy, that claimed 14 lives, to police custody till January 9.
“Kevin Bawa and Nelson Lopez, who worked at the 1Above pub as managers were arrested early today morning,” said DCP Deepak Deoraj, spokesperson of the Mumbai Police. They were produced before the Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court where they were sent to eight days of police custody, he added.
“The duo has been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder under the IPC,” Deoraj said.
Both of them were present at the pub when the fire broke out. It was their duty to keep the emergency exits open or to open them in case of emergency. They did neither of the things and fled the place leaving the guests at the mercy of kitchen staff, the police have said.
The main accused in the case, the owners against whom lookout notice has been issued, however, evaded the arrest even on Monday.
Meanwhile, the BMC Monday appealed all establishment in the megapolis to comply with all the fire safety and other rules of establishment within 15 days.
“Rules and regulations in this regard have been put up on the website of the Corporation and all the establishments are being appealed to comply to fire codified requirements and other rules under which the establishments have been given permissions within 15 days,” said the circular issued by the BMC on Monday. Strict action would be taken against establishments who won’t comply, the circular added.
BMC commissioner Ajoy Mehta has also sought information, from all the seven zonal assistant commissioners, on the irregularities found at various establishments inspected during past two days and the departments and names of officers responsible for the irregularities. They have also been asked to furnish information on whether there had been any collusion between the BMC officials and individuals from the establishments.
According to sources within the civic administration, at least 100 BMC officials and engineers are under scanner for allowing illegal alterations and encroachments in several of the establishments across the city. Information is being collected from various sources and the officials are likely to face inquiry and action, said a senior BMC official.
An inquiry officer is likely to be appointed to check if any civic staffer has been in the same department for years, the number of complaints received regarding violations and what action was taken. The officer may also examine financial backgrounds of such staffers and request other departments like the ACB to take over probes.
Though the demolition drive in the aftermath of the Kamala Mills Compound continued on the third day on Monday, in wake of the circular issued by the BMC by the noon, it remained on a much-limited scale. Of the total 134 establishments inspected by the officials in three wards of Central Mumbai unauthorised structure at 53 establishments were demolished by the BMC squads and equipment related to Hukkah were seized from 50 places, said an official statement.