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HindustanTimes Thu,31 Jul 2014

Sanjay Dutt's lawyer bereaved, loses three relatives in Mahim collapse

PTI  Mumbai, June 12, 2013
First Published: 16:19 IST(12/6/2013) | Last Updated: 19:47 IST(12/6/2013)

Rizwan Merchant, lawyer of Sanjay Dutt, lost his son Faraaz, wife Asifa (50) and mother Tahira in the collapse of the four-storeyed Mahim building two days ago.

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Prominent lawyer Merchant spoke repeatedly on his cell phone with his 13-year-old son Faraaz, who was trapped in the debris of Altaf Mansion, but the boy could not survive.
 
Faraaz spoke to his father from his 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 he did not call since Tuesday afternoo,n and his body was later 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 building collapse.
 
Even after bodies of Asifa and Tahira were recovered, Merchant was hopeful about his minor son surviving the 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
blasts case.

Ten persons were killed and many others injured when Altaf Mansion collapsed on Monday night.


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