In new twist to the ongoing blame game between pubs accused for the raging fire that killed 14 people on December 29 and the administration, the absconding owners of 1Above on Tuesday wrote to the President and Prime Minister challenging the Mumbai police investigations seeking to blame them for the tragedy.
The owners of 1Above - Kripesh Sanghai, Jigar Sanghavi and Abhijit Manka - have written to the President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and others, alleging that the Mumbai police investigations conducted by N. M. Joshi police station was "biased."
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"Police is deliberately not arresting or not booking the owners of The Mojo's Bistro under the false presumption that the fire has not occurred or erupted from the premises of The Mojo's Bistro, despite the fact that various evidences have been circulated and published in the electronic media and various witnesses have given statement," their plea said.
Moreover, they said that the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation has issued a notice under Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act and lodged a FIR against The Mojo's Bistro, therefore establishing that it had indulged in illegalities and are equally responsible.
"When the BMC has concluded, what evidence does the police machinery have to disbelieve the BMC," the 1Above owner-trio said, adding that police are not submitting the FIRs registered by them to the courts with an intention to deprive them from getting a copy.
Besides, they said neither the Fire Brigade, nor the Forensic Science Lab, or any government body or competent authority has yet concluded that the fire erupted from 1Above premises and not from The Mojo's Bistro.
They also took objections to the police preventing the insurers from entering the premises to survey since they (police) "are scared that the insurance company will discover the fire had erupted at the The Mojo's Bistro, and that evidence is still lying and not collected, or that evidence is destroyed".
The 1Above owners also accused the police of being biased and destroying the evidence to favour the owners of The Mojo's Bistro, both situated in the Kamala Mills Compound in Lower Parel in southcentral Mumbai.
Meanwhile, the BMC bulldozers stopped demolitions on the fifth day after the civic body gave 15 days time to all restaurants and other eateries to removed all illegalities and comply with all formalities or face the axe again.