Dhaba fire: Wife of one of the owners arrested
The woman, who works as a software engineer, plotted the incident to get back at her husband after their marriage soured: Police
In a major twist in the dhaba arson case where an employee died in the blaze last month, the Soladevanahalli police have arrested the wife, a software engineer, of one of the owners for allegedly orchestrating the fire to get back at her husband. According to the police, the woman, identified as Sheetal, hired a rowdy-sheeter to set fire to U-Turn dhaba in Soladevanahalli.
The incident took place on December 23, 2021. The dhaba manager sustained major burns and succumbed the next day. Three people, including the rowdy-sheeter she hired, Manu Kumar, were arrested a few days later. “She paid the rowdysheer ₹20,000 for the job to get back at her husband who left her six months after they got married,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP North) Vinayak Patil, who is supervising the investigation.
Sheetal works as a software trainer at a private firm, and married Arpith, one of the three partners of U-Turn Dhaba. They met each other on an online matrimonial website and tied the knot soon after.
“However their relationship soured, and within months, Sheetal moved out of their house and started living with her parents. She anticipated that Arpith would ask her to return, but he was busy running the dhaba,” said a police officer. He added that she wanted to get back at her husband and teach him a lesson. “It was an act of revenge, and she contacted Manu Kumar through her brother Nischal.”
As per the plan, Manu Kumar enlisted two of his associates, Hemanth and Manjunath, for the job. On the night of December 23, the duo, armed with a can of petrol, arrived at the dhaba. They poured petrol around it, and set it on fire. The manager, Manoj, who was having dinner inside went to investigate and confronted the duo. “Fearing that they would be caught, the accused men threw petrol on Manoj, and set it on fire before fleeing the spot.”
The other staff in the dhaba managed to rescue Manoj and took him to Victoria hospital. But his burn wounds were severe, and he succumbed the next day.
The Soladevanahalli police tracked down Hemanth and Manjunath based on the vehicle they used and arrested Kumar as well. They allegedly confessed to the crime and told the police about Sheetal’s involvement.
“Kumar and his associates are habitual offenders with multiple criminal cases pending against them. All four have been arrested for murder and efforts are on to track down Sheetal’s brother,” said the police.