Shop owner held, contractor on the run in building collapse case

The building collapse site in north Delhi’s Subzi Mandi. File   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

A day after a triple-storey building collapsed in north Delhi’s Sabzi Mandi, police have arrested a man, who owned a shop on the ground floor of the building where repair and renovation work was under way, they said.

Police said that the accused, identified as Mohak Arora, a resident of Sabzi Mandi, has been arrested under Sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 288 (negligent conduct with respect to pulling down or repairing buildings) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code. Sources said that the contractor who was assigned the repair work is absconding and teams are searching him.

Missing labourer

Locals said that the rescue operation was under way till late night on Monday and the debris was removed on Tuesday. A police officer said that the labourers who were feared to have been trapped under the debris were not found. “It has been informed that the repair work had been completed on Sunday evening and on Monday, there was only one labourer who was inside the shop at the time of the incident. He has not been traced so far,” the officer said.

Loss of livelihood

The elderly man who was injured — Ramji Das Aneja — was discharged after treatment on Monday evening. Recalling the incident, he told The Hindu that a customer came to his shop and he had just attended him when he noticed that stones were falling from the roof. “He told me to quickly leave the shop as he managed to run outside. I got up from the counter and had just reached the shutter when the building fully collapsed and I got stuck against the wall,” he said.

He said that ₹80,000 was inside his shop, which is now missing, and he is left without any source of income to feed his widowed daughter-in-law and grandson. “I lost my son to dengue three years ago and my wife to COVID three months ago. This was my only source of income and I don’t know how I’ll survive and feed my daughter-in-law,” he said.

On Monday, around 11.30 a.m., the building with two shops on the ground floor and residential accommodations on three floors above it, collapsed leaving two brothers dead. The children – Saumya (12) and Prashant (7) – were crossing the congested lane with their parents when the incident happened.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 1:42:05 PM |

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