A father-son duo was arrested on Saturday for allegedly deliberately causing a fire that gutted more than 300 hutments at Garib Nagar in Bandra’s Behrampada area in October last year. Salim Lightwalla (52) and Salman (22) allegedly started a leak from a few LPG gas cylinders deep inside the slum, causing those to explode in a bid to stop the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) from demolishing a part of the settlement.
Several hundred families were rendered homeless after the blaze that affected local train services at Bandra station and led to a fireman being injured. READ MORE
The police had initially arrested a local shopkeeper, Sabir Khan, for allegedly setting off the gas cylinders and they had been looking for the Lightwallas since then. “We caught them in Nallasopara and produced them in court on Saturday. We have been granted their custody until January 10,” said Subhash Jadhav, Senior Inspector, Nirmal Nagar police station. He added that the accused own several hutments in Behrampada that they rent out.
According to the police, Salim has attempted to interrupt several demolition drives undertaken by the BMC in the
“During another demolition drive last year, the accused had spread rumours in the locality that the BMC was going to tear down a mosque. Local people had gathered in large numbers and stopped the BMC from carrying out its work,” said Jadhav. Earlier, Salim had been booked in multiple cases of rioting and forming unlawful assembly, Jadhav added.
He was also an accused in the riots at Azad Maidan in 2012, the police said.