A set of well-maintained documents with details of payments made to various government officials was reportedly found by the Thane Police in the Kausa residence of builder Jameel Qureshi. The raids came after Quershi was held from Uttar Pradesh on Saturday and Sheikh from Thane.
Qureshi and his partner Salim Sheikh have been already booked after the seven-storey built by them in the Lucky Compound in Mumbra collapsed on Thursday night.
Those arrested based on the evidence collected from the raid during Saturday night and Sunday morning are Deputy Municipal Commissioner of Thane Municipal Corporation Deepak Chavan,Assistant Municipal Commissioner Babsaheb Andhale,TMC Senior Clerk Kisan Madke,NCP Corporator Hira Patil,Head Constable Jehangir Sayyed of Diaghar police station,building material supplier Afroze Ansari and real estate agent Sayyed Jabbar Patel.
The documents prove that the two builders paid lakhs of rupees,more than once,to civic and police officials to ignore their illegal construction. The building that collapsed was constructed in two-and-a-half to three months, said Thane Police Commissioner K P Raghuvanshi. All of them were remanded to police custody till April 20,the police said.
Our probe has thrown light on a larger racket,where flats in illegally constructed buildings are handed over to residents within days of construction. The builders would fill up the flats on each floor as soon as it was ready. It is harder for the TMC to demolish the building once it is inhabited, Raghuvanshi said.
All the accused have been booked for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and criminal conspiracy. As there are public servants involved,the police have also invoked the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Rs 5 lakh and some property-related documents were found during a search of Chavans residence. The houses of the other accused are also being searched by the Anti-Corruption Bureau, said Raghuvanshi.
10-month-old girl rescued from debris
A a 10-month-old girl was rescued from the debris of the collapsed Mumbra building. The baby is currently at the Kalwa Hospital in Thane,where she was handed over the local police for treatment.
We advertised in local newspapers and pasted notices at public places in the hope of tracing the family of the baby. However,no one has come forward till now. The child will be given back to the custody of the police on Monday. The police will take the further necessary steps, said Dr S K Waghchoure,Medical Superintendent at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital,Kalwa.
He said the baby has not suffered any serious injuries.