Sanjay Dutt's lawyer loses 3 family members in Mahim building collapse
Prominent lawyer Rizwan Merchant spoke repeatedly on his cell phone with his 13-year-old son Faraaz, who was trapped in the debris of Altaf Mansion, which collapsed two days ago, but could not save him.
Merchant, who lived in the four-storeyed Mahim building, lost his son Faraaz, wife Asifa (50) and mother (Tahira) to the tragedy.
Faraaz spoke to his father from cell phone and informed that he was stuck underneath. Merchant told him that nothing would happen to him but God had willed otherwise, said family sources.
Faraaz spoke to his father a couple of times on Monday and Tuesday. But suddenly the phone stopped ringing yesterday afternoon and his body was pulled out from the debris. However, the family's two parrots in a cage survived as they were rescued unhurt.
The family had just returned from a holiday in Turkey. Rizwan, who had been to Turkey, had returned earlier. He was in office with his older son Faiz and daughter Fiza when he heard the news of the house collapse.
Even when bodies of Asifa and Tahira were recovered, Merchant was hopeful about his minor son surviving the house collapse as he had spoken to him on phone the same day. But when his body was extricated, Merchant could not control himself and broke down.
"How can I live without him (Faraaz). He was the dearest in the family ?", said Merchant, who has represented actor Sanjay Dutt in the 1993 bomb blast case.
Many lawyers and people from different walks of life visited the Bandra house of Merchant's relative to offer condolences. Among them was Manyata Dutt, wife of Sanjay Dutt, who is currently serving sentence in Pune's Yerwada Jail in the 1993 blast case.
Ten persons were killed and many others injured when Altaf Mansion at Mahim collapsed on Monday night.