CBI should probe bookie Vishal Karia’s relations with Mojo’s owners: Congress MLA Nitesh Rane

Mumbai: Congress legislator Nitesh Rane  called for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the Kamala Mills blaze. Rane, speaking to reporters on Tuesday said, cars of the owners of ‘Mojo’s Bistro’ restaurant were found parked below the home of one Vishal Karia, arrested on Tuesday. Karia he claimed had a “history of crimes”.

“The name of Vishal Karia figures in the Call Detail Records (CDR) of one of the cricket bookies that were recently arrested by the police. I have spoken to Deven Bharti, Joint Commissioner, Law and Order and he has told me that this man has been arrested,” Rane told reporters.

“If the cars of the owners of Mojo’s Bistro were found parked below his house, what relation does he have with them and whose invisible hands are backing him to help the accused. There should be a CBI probe into the tragedy and into the role of Vishal Karia,” he said.

The police which have registered a case of culpable homicide, have already arrested Yug Pathak, owner of Mojo Bistro and two managers – Kevin Bava and Lisbon Lopez-  of ‘1Above’ pub. The sessions court on Tuesday posted the anticipatory bail application filed by Pathak on January 11. Fourteen persons died and over 30 others were injured when a fire broke out at ‘1Above’ and ‘Mojo’s Bistro’ pubs in the Kamala Mills Compound on December 29.

Who is the real Vishal Karia -a builder, hotelier or bookie?

Vishal Karia is a builder and owns several restaurants in Mumbai.  He is also an alleged bookie who has political connections. On August 5 last year, a 32-year-old cricket enthusiast had filed a writ petition in the Bombay HC against the Mumbai police and other investigating agencies of being lackadaisical in preventing the alleged involvement of bookies in the cricket world. Ganesh Pawar, in his petition, said that he was shocked that even after several exposes by news channels on alleged phone calls between cricketers and bookies, the police had choose to stay silent on the issue.

“I am a cricket fan as well as I play cricket. I was shocked when a news channel showed about the match fixing scandals recently. The issue also went viral through social media and other mediums of communication. Vishal Karia along with his partner Hitesh Sanghvi have good relations with politicians and leading cricket stars, not only in India, but also in the international arena,” the petition read.

It further stated that the said news channel and social media showed several evidences that the said bookies and cricketers are hand in gloves with each other and have helped in losing matches. It claimed Vishal Karia is a bookie who has connection with several prominent cricketers and had made handsome amount through the match fixing racket.

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