THE Mumbai Police Tuesday arrested a Nagpur-based businessman, Yug Tuli, the absconding co-owner of Mojo’s Bistro who was named as an accused in the Kamala Mills fire case that claimed 14 lives on December 29. Tuli reached NM Joshi Marg police station and surrendered in the early hours of Tuesday. A sessions court had Friday rejected Tuli’s anticipatory bail application. In the detailed order rejecting anticipatory bail for Tuli, the court had said that after civic authorities demolished unauthorised construction at his restaurant Mojo’s Bistro, the unauthorised alterations were made once again.
“This conduct of the applicant (Tuli) shows his disrespect towards the law. The applicant was running a hukkah parlour… prima facie it seems they did not have the licence to run the hukkah parlour. Investigation on this aspect is necessary,” the court had said. Representing Tuli, his lawyer Shyam Dewani told The Indian Express, “We applied for anticipatory bail as it is our right but it got rejected on Friday. After we got the order copy on Monday, Tuli arrived at the police station and surrendered. Technically nobody can call Tuli an absconder.”
A case of culpable homicide was registered against Mojo’s Bistro owners after the fire department in its report claimed that the fire originated in this establishment. After registering the case, co-owner Yug Pathak, son of IPS officer K K Pathak, was arrested on January 5. An officer from NM Joshi Marg police station said, “Earlier, Yug Tuli was booked under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act and he had appeared before the police to record his statement on January 5. The same day, a case of culpable homicide was registered against the owners of Mojo’s Bistro following which Yug Pathak was arrested.”
Tuli, meanwhile, left for Hyderabad by car and was at his grandparents’ residence and later spotted with his wife at Hyder-abad airport, according to sources. “As a lookout notice has been issued against him, he didn’t catch the flight to Nagpur, instead he fled to Rajasthan. Later, after his anticipatory bail was rejected, he surrendered,” said an officer. Mumbai police have so far arrested eight accused in the case including two managers of the restro-pub 1Above.
Tuli was produced in Bhoiwada court Tuesday and remanded in police custody till January 20. The other four owners of the two restro-pubs are also in custody of the investigators. They were booked under IPC sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (causing hurt by an act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).