Gold Mohur fire was sabotage: Police | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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Gold Mohur fire was sabotage: Police

The recent fire at Gold Mohur Mills at Dadar was a “deliberate act to burn down the mill so that it would not get heritage status,” the police have said. The mill, on Dada Saheb Phalke road at Dadar, was completely destroyed in a fire on January 20.

mumbai Updated: Feb 02, 2010 01:18 IST
Shailendra Mohan

The recent fire at Gold Mohur Mills at Dadar was a “deliberate act to burn down the mill so that it would not get heritage status,” the police have said. The mill, on Dada Saheb Phalke road at Dadar, was completely destroyed in a fire on January 20.

The FIR registered by Bhoiwada police nine days after the fire, accuses scrap dealer Gaurav Patel, Wajid, a contractor appointed by him, and six of Wajid’s labourers.

The FIR (a copy is with the Hindustan Times), registered on the basis of constable Tanaji Sangle’s statement, says “a conspiracy was hatched to burn down the mill”, and that Patel and his accomplices “did not want the building to get heritage status” and “systematically put wooden planks and pillars in the fire.”

Sangle in his complaint alleged that Patel, during the last month, had brought into the mill items like gas cutters, and oxygen and LPG cylinders used to remove boilers and other machines.

“We will collect evidence, and make arrests if required,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone IV) Sanjay Baviskar said when asked if the accused named in the FIR would be arrested.

Asked about suspicion on the mill’s owners, Baviskar said: “The FIR mentions Patel and his accomplices, so we will see if there is any evidence against any other person. Further action will depend on the kind of evidence we gather.”

The civic body and the fire brigade have suspected sabotage from the start, and had initiated a probe to get to the truth. Given that the mill had been shut for years, a fire of this magnitude immediately attracted suspicion among authorities.

An interim report submitted by the fire department to the police says the fire brigade was called at least 25-30 minutes after the fire broke out, the source added.

The pre-Independence mill was owned jointly by National Textile Corporation and Gold Mohur Design Apparel, the FIR says. Gaurav and Wajid could not be reached for comment.

(with inputs from Bhavika Jain)