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Kamala Mills fire: Mumbai police, BMC in blame game over probe progress

Mumbai cops say civic body delaying submission of documents; BMC denies claim

mumbai Updated: Jan 17, 2018 23:51 IST
Megha Sood
Megha Sood
Hindustan Times
Kamala Mills fire,Mumbai police,BMC
The Kamala Mills fire killed 14 people and injured 55.(HT File)

It has been 19 days since the NM Joshi Marg police registered a case and began an investigation into the Kamala Mills fire, in which 14 were killed and 55 injured. However, apart from arresting restaurant owners, two of whom surrendered, they have not yet been able to ascertain where the fire began. They continue to rely on a non-conclusive fire brigade report, which states that the fire started from Mojo’s Bistro and spread to 1Above, situated under it.

They have not yet been able to prosecute any Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officials responsible for validating the fire and safety licences of the two restaurants.

Police officers said the BMC has delayed the submission of documents, despite several reminders. They said they need to identify the officials responsible for issuing the fire and safety licenses to the restaurants.

“We have given the BMC several reminders. However, they have delayed the submission of documents owing to a departmental inquiry,” said an officer from the NM Joshi Marg police station.

Civic chief Ajoy Mehta was unavailable for comment. “All the documents related to two restaurants are readily available. There is no point of hiding any or not cooperating with the police,” said a senior civic official, who did not wish to be identified.

The police have also been waiting for the papers that the restaurateurs had submitted to the civic body for verification. “We want the rent documents and documents related to the fire safety and renovation work that the Mojo’s Bistro and 1Above owners gave the BMC,” added the officer.

Apart from Yug Tuli, who was arrested on Tuesday, all the other arrested restaurant owners have been sent to judicial custody, making it impossible for the investigators to question them further.

One of the contentions based on which the NM Joshi Marg police got custody of Tuli was to find out who the restaurant owner was in touch with, when he acquired permissions for fire safety and to carry out renovations.

First Published: Jan 17, 2018 23:51 IST