Thane building collapse: Cops recover valuables worth Rs 25 lakh

A team of four from the Naupada police station spent 12 hours sifting through the debris to recover cash, jewellery and cellphones; the police are now anxious to ensure that they reach the right people

A day after the collapse of the Krishna Niwas building in Thane claimed 12 lives, wiped out two families, and left seven injured, officials from the Naupada police are anxious to ensure that the valuables recovered from the debris reach the right people.

Read Story: Thane building collapse wipes out two families

Ramchandra Bhat’s brother and other relatives with the senior inspector of the Naupada police station
Ramchandra Bhat’s brother and other relatives with the senior inspector of the Naupada police station

Valuables worth Rs 20-25 lakh have been recovered from the site of the collapse and police officials say they want to ensure that none of the items, especially cash and jewellery, whose ownership is hard to ascertain, land in the wrong hands.

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The three-storeyed Krishna Niwas building collapsed in B Cabin colony in Thane on Tuesday. Pic/Sameer Markande
The three-storeyed Krishna Niwas building collapsed in B Cabin colony in Thane on Tuesday. Pic/Sameer Markande

A team of four, comprising an assistant police inspector and three constables from the Naupada police, sifted through the debris for 12 hours from 4 am to 4 pm on Tuesday to recover the valuables.

The debris was then dumped in a junkyard near the Jupiter hospital in Thane and, even there, it was guarded by two constables to keep thieves from getting to any valuables that may have been missed.

Claimants
By yesterday, the police had recovered Rs 2,71,000 in cash, jewellery adding up to 70-75 tola of gold and half kg of silver, and 20 cellphones, all of which were together worth Rs 20-25 lakh.

Senior Inspector Mallikarjun Survase of the Naupada police station said the team had done a commendable job of retrieving the valuables and that the tougher task of handing them over lay ahead. “We are going to take the statement of every individual who comes to claim the items and also take copies of their identity proofs to ensure there is no confusion in the future.

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Affidavits will also be required of the residents or relatives who come to claim the items. We are responsible for the items and we will ensure that they reach either the owners or the right relatives,” said Survase. So far, only relatives of the Bhat family have actually approached the police station in person to collect the valuables.

All four members of the family had died in the collapse. Officials said the items were given to the relatives after they were able to give an accurate description of them and their ID proofs were checked. “The husband of Rashmi Mange, nee Bhat, had come to the police station in the morning and taken her mangalsutra and some other items.

Ramchandra Bhat’s elder brother also visited in the evening, accompanied by a representative of the local GSB community, and claimed the items after describing them,” said another police official, adding that they had begun distributing the items already to ensure there is no confusion later.

He said that the police station had also received a call from Amrutlal Patel, a tea vendor who lived in the building as a tenant and had lost his daughter, Priya (14), in the collapse. Amrutlal, who was in his village at the time of the collapse, said that he had around Rs 7 lakh in cash in the flat.

Injured discharged
Of the seven injured people, three had been admitted in the Thane Civil Hospital while the other four had been given treatment on an OPD basis and sent home.

Doctors said the three patients who had been admitted were discharged by Tuesday night and the bodies of the 12 people who had died were handed over to relatives by yesterday morning after conducting the post-mortem.

“The major injuries were polytrauma (multiple injuries) and blunt trauma (deep injuries). The patients received immediate treatment and were discharged accordingly. The last patient, 80-year-old Arvind Nene, was discharged at 10.30 pm on Tuesday,” said Ashok Kambre, a civil surgeon at the hospital.

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