The Dadar police arrested a fifth man on Monday for allegedly opening a manhole in Parel, through which gastroenterologist Dr Deepak Amrapurkar fell and died on August 29. Last week, the police had identified and arrested four men who were part of a group that allegedly opened the cover of a manhole below the Elphinstone bridge on Senapati Bapat Marg around 2.30 pm, after water entered their roadside homes during heavy showers in the city on August 29. The police said the men wanted the water from their homes to flow out through the open drain.
A few minutes after 7 pm, Dr Amrapurkar, who was walking to his Prabhadevi home, fell through the open hole. His body was found by the police in a drain in Worli two days later. The police arrested Siddhesh Belsekar (25), Dinar Pawar (36) and brothers Rakesh Kadam (38) and Nilesh Kadam (33) on Saturday and had been on the lookout for at least two others. The fifth man has been identified as Raj Shirpurkar (28), a resident of Manubhai Bhagwandas chawl in Parel.
“We arrested a fifth person on Monday. He was produced in court and received bail,” said Rajiv Jain, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Zone V. The police will now conduct a test identification parade of the man arrested on Monday. Jain added that witnesses to the incident positively identified the other four accused last week and the same procedure would be repeated.
He added that the fifth man was also part of a band playing at religious festivals and weddings along with the other accused and stayed close to their homes near the Elphinstone bridge. All five have been booked with causing death due to negligence under the Indian Penal Code. An officer at Dadar police station said that while the men did not intend to cause Dr Amrapurkar’s death, they did not have the authority to open the manhole cover. “They should have informed the BMC and the police that their homes were flooded. Proper action would have been taken by the authorities,” he said.