New Delhi: Days after a major fire at Delhi’s Arpit Palace Hotel left 17 dead, the Crime Branch has arrested its owner Rakesh Goel from the Indira Gandhi International Airport as he returned to India from Qatar, an officer said on Sunday.
“A team of the Special Investigation Unit headed by ACP Sandeep Lamba arrested Rakesh Goel at around 7.30 p.m. on Saturday while he was trying to move out of the airport premises. We had received a tip off that Goel was arriving in Delhi from Qatar from Indigo flight no 6E 1702,” Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajesh Deo said. He said that a Look Out Circular had been issued to detain him on his arrival and police and intelligence officers were on alert.
The DCP said later Goel was interrogated to know the lapses and violations to rules in his hotels. He was questioned in front of his employees – hotel manager Rajinder Singh and assistant manager Vikas Kumar – who were arrested earlier. A Crime Branch officer, who did not want to be identified, told IANS that during the interrogation, Goel admitted that he had violated the rules during construction of the hotel in Karol Bagh area in 1992 to make more profits.
A Crime Branch team had come across many irregularities in the hotel which enabled the fire, on February 12, to spread rapidly, killing 17 people and injuring eight. A manhunt is on to nab Goel’s elder brother, Shardendu Goel who is at large.