One of them, a contractor, was arrested for housing 37 of his workers there; he and the flat owners have been charged for letting people stay despite knowing the building was unsafe
The workers stayed on the second, third and fourth floors of the building. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi
The Nehru Nagar police have booked five people in connection with the building collapse at Naik Nagar society at Kurla, which claimed 19 lives on Tuesday. One person, a contractor who housed his workers in the building, was arrested on Tuesday night while the others booked are four flat owners who gave them on rent.
The ground-plus-three -storey building collapsed on Monday night. At least 15 people were injured in the incident. During the initial probe it was found that Dilip Vishwas, a contractor, had housed 37 people working for him in the building, and flats were given to them on rental basis. He was arrested.
The arrested accused Dilip Vishwas
“Some of the injured workers told us Dilip Vishwas had brought them to the building. As we spoke to the injured it was clear that despite knowing the building was dangerous, Vishwas brought them here to live,” said an officer from Nehru Nagar police station.
The workers stayed on the second, third and fourth floors of the building. Vishwas had made a live and licence agreement with two flat owners—Rajni Rathod and Kishor Chavhan—while two flats owned by Balkrushna Rathod were given on rent without an agreement.
“The building was declared dangerous by BMC in the year 2013, still the owners gave their flats on rent. Dilip Vishwas, despite knowing the building’s condition, got his workers to rent houses here. This is a criminal activity. An offence has been registered against 5 persons till now, of whom four are known, while one’s identity is yet to be ascertained,” said Chandrashekhar Bhabal, senior inspector, Nehru Nagar police station.
The arrested accused, Vishwas, was produced in court on Wednesday and remanded in police custody. Arresting the fifth accused is a challenge for the police as his address with other residents is of the collapsed building. “We are trying our best to locate him and he might have absconded,” said a police source. The police have booked the accused under IPC Sections 304 (causing death by negligence), 308 (attempt to culpable homicide), 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 34 (common intention).
No. of people killed in the building crash