Mumbai: A day after three men were killed in a fire inside a temple at Charkop in the wee hours of Sunday, police arrested a 20-year-old and detained a minor for arson leading to the triple murder. Police said that the arrested accused had personal grudges against one of the deceased, Yuvraj Pawar, 24, who had recently assaulted the accused and had set the temple on fire using petrol. Police have booked and arrested the accused under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for murder, mischief with fire and common intention.
According to police, three close friends, identified as Yuvraj Pawar (28), Subhash Khode (28) and Mahesh Gupta (24) died after a fire broke out at Saibaba temple in Charkop area in Kandivali (W), in the early hours of Sunday. When the locals saw the fire, they immediately reported the incident to the police and fire brigade. While both the agencies rushed to the spot, the trio was taken to Shatabdi Hospital, but doctors declared Khode and Pawar dead on arrival. Gupta, who had sustained about 95 per cent burns, was shifted to the Sion hospital where he died during treatment, said police.
Prima facie police had registered three accidental death reports in the matter and suspected that an air cooler blast or an electric short circuit was the cause of the fire. A detailed probe, however, ruled out the possibility of the fire being an accident and found evidence that it was a deliberate act of arson with an intention to kill. Preliminary investigation revealed that Yuvraj had a previous enmity with a 20-year-old Bhavesh Chandurkar, who was recently involved in a heated argument that escalated in a fight.
Acting on this information, police enquired with the youth, wherein it was revealed that Chandurkar had set the temple ablaze to exact revenge on Yuvraj amid the previous enmity. During investigation, it was revealed that Bhavesh and Yuvraj had got in a fight days before the incident, wherein the former held grudges against the deceased. In a bid to exact revenge, Bhavesh was keeping a close eye on Yuvraj's movements and saw that he was sleeping inside the temple with three others.
Police said, in a fit of rage, Bhavesh emptied the petrol tank of his Activa scooter into a can with the help of a minor and when the three friends were asleep. He set the temple ablaze, leading to the trio's death.