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Victims' kin to testify

Statements recorded by police will be used as evidence against accused.

delhi Updated: Nov 18, 2010 23:50 IST
Vijaita Singh
Vijaita Singh
Hindustan Times

Deepali Haldar, a housemaid who lost one of her sons and is yet to get any news about her husband and nine relatives, has a chance of bringing the guilty to book.

Haldar, along with 81 others who were injured in the Lalita Park building collapse, have been made witnesses against main accused Amritpal Singh Sachdeva, the owner of the collapsed building.

On Wednesday, HT had reported that Sachdeva used junk material to build the seven-storeyed building where rooms were rented out for R500-600 per person. The building collapsed on Monday after water accumulated in the basement weakened its foundation.

The Delhi police has recorded the statement of all the 81 injured victims and the relatives of the 70 people killed. When the case comes up for trial in court, the police will use these statements as evidence against the accused.

For the past three days, the victims' relatives, who have been going to the mortuaries to identify the bodies, are being signed as witnesses by the police at the Lok Nayak Hospital.

"We are recording the statements of the injured and will use it against the accused. It is also a legal requirement," said IB Rani, additional deputy commissioner of police (east).

On Thursday, three more bodies, taken out from the rubble of the seven-storeyed building by the rescue authorities, were brought to the Lok Nayak Hospital's mortuary.

Till Thursday, 37 bodies had been released from Lok Nayak Hospital, of them 21 were sent by a special train to Katihar in Bihar.

Eight unidentified bodies, including that of a child, have been preserved at the Lok Nayak Hospital and that of a 25-year-old woman has been lying unclaimed in the mortuary at Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital.

Authorities said they were waiting for the relatives of the unidentified people to turn up and would take any decision only after that. "First we will wait and watch and if no one claims these bodies, then the state will take care of their cremation," said a senior official at Lok Nayak Hospital.

First Published: Nov 18, 2010 23:48 IST