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Mumbai building collapse: Owner knew that building was dangerous, say neighbours

Rizwan Siddique, owner of the Malwani building that collapsed on Wednesday night, leading to death of 12 people, allegedly knew about the precarious condition of the ground-plus-three storey structure, but could not repair it in time because of financial difficulties, his neighbours told the local police
By HT Correspondent, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JUN 12, 2021 12:00 AM IST

Rizwan Siddique, owner of the Malwani building that collapsed on Wednesday night, leading to death of 12 people, allegedly knew about the precarious condition of the ground-plus-three storey structure, but could not repair it in time because of financial difficulties, his neighbours told the local police.

Malwani police registered a first information report (FIR) against Siddique, who has lost nine family members in the tragedy, and building contractor Ramzan Shaikh under sections 304(II) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others), 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) of the Indian Penal Code.

Police on Friday recorded statements of some local residents and neighbours of Siddique who told the police that some of them had apprised Siddique about cracks in the structure, but he did not undertake repairs in time.

“Some witnesses said that a week ago, they had warned Siddique about damage to the structure, but he chose to delay repairs due to financial difficulties, as his food stall was shut last year during the lockdown,” said an officer from Malwani police station.

Some locals said the building was built on a drain infested with rats and that the walls of the building had developed cracks and become weak due to heavy rain.

Police arrested contractor Ramzan Nabi Shaikh, who had constructed the building, late on Thursday evening. In his statement, he said the house was built more than eight years ago and he did not recollect the details.He has been remanded in police custody till June 16.

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