Vakola building collapse: Chawl residents direct ire at lawyer who got stay order

Residents of Catherine chawl, which was crushed after Vakola’s Shankarlok building came smashing down on it on Friday, have filed a police complaint against lawyer Sindha Shreedharan, who resided on the seven-storey structure’s ground floor, as well as the structure’s builder.

Catherine chawl buried under the rubble of Shankarlok building in Vakola. Pic/Nimesh Dave
Catherine chawl buried under the rubble of Shankarlok building in Vakola. Pic/Nimesh Dave

Shreedharan had got a stay order from the Bombay High Court on the demolition of the seven-storey building, after the BMC had declared it dilapidated and served the residents a demolition notice. They believe that it is because of the lawyer’s legal resort that they have lost five of their neighbours and their homes. They have no shelter whatsoever at the time.

Advocate Shreedharan’s sister was one of the seven people killed in the incident — five from Catherine chawl and two from Shankarlok. mid-day had earlier reported how the tenement’s angry residents were planning to file a court case against the lawyer who got the stay on demolition.

Moreover, some of the chawl residents had hoped to be able to move to the building which would have been constructed if Shankarlok was demolished. The 21 families residing at the chawl were to be accommodated in the redeveloped building.

But the collapse has left the residents anguished and homeless, even as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation found safety in the fact that it had issued notice not only to occupants of Shankarlok but also to those of Catherine chawl, warning them that the building might fall any time and that they shouldn’t stay near it.

The BMC stated after the disaster that if the families had vacated the dwelling units in time, there wouldn’t have been any fatalities.

Senior Inspector Vinayak Mulay of Vakola police station said, “On Sunday, a case was registered against the builder of Shankarlok and Sindha Shreedharan under sections 304A (causing death due to negligence), 427 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety), 337 and 338 (causing grievous hurt) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code.

The families of the victims and the residents of the chawl who have lost their houses in this incident have registered the complaint.”

>> Residents lodged complaint with Vakola police on Sunday
>> Builder and lawyer booked for causing death due to negligence and grievous hurt

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