The family of Jamil Qureshi, one of the builders of the illegal seven-storey building that collapsed on April 4, seems to have moved out of Shimla Park, Mumbra, since the incident. When MiD DAY visited the area on Monday afternoon, after Qureshi’s arrest on Saturday, his home was locked.
Qureshi’s parents, it is said, stayed in the apartment opposite his. But those living in the locality claimed that they had not seen any movement in both the houses after the catrastrophe that claimed 74 lives and injured many others.
Qureshi’s apartment, approximately 1,000 square feet, is on the first floor in the B-wing of Shimla Park. One of the building residents who did not wish to be named claimed that she saw Qureshi on the day the accident happened.
“He has three school-going children. His parents lived in the flat opposite to his, and his father is a very religious man. We did not interact a lot with the family. On the day the building collapsed, I saw him from my balcony. He was taking his car out in a rush to go somewhere.”
She said the tragedy has inspired fear psychosis among people, who are avoiding entering buildings in the locality, affecting residents’ lives. “Since the incident, everyone seems to be afraid of stepping in the building, even garbage collectors and other helpers.
Garbage has been piling up outside my home for the last few days. I have small kids and am afraid that if this continues it may lead to diseases.” Several residents from the building said that they had gone to the accident spot to offer help after the collapse.
“When we got to know that Qureshi’s building had fallen, we rushed to the spot. Civilians reached Lucky Compound much before any civic or police personnel and started rescuing at least those whom they could,” said another neighbour.
A resident living in the next wing, who is also in the construction business, said he knew Qureshi well. “He was not a criminal, nor the kind of man who would not care about a tragedy like the building collapse.
In fact, I’ve heard his partner Salim Shaikh had even decided to shift into one of the flats of the building which collapsed. He had also decided to give homes to his younger siblings who were financially weak,” said the 36-year-old neigbour.