Samajwadi Party spokesman Abbas Haider’s mother Begum Haider (75) and wife Uzma Haider (35), both taken out of the rubble on Wednesday morning after a 12-hour-long rescue operation, were pronounced dead by the doctors at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Hospital (Civil Hospital) shortly after being rushed to the medical facility.
Till now 15 others have been safely rescued from the rubble and are recuperating at the hospital. The survivors include Abbas’ son Mustafa and his father Amir who is a Congress party veteran.
Meanwhile, Lucknow Commissioner of Police SB Shiradkar said that as per the latest information, 15 persons had been rescued from the accident site and now nobody was left to be evacuated.
“We have got information that there were only 17 persons of seven families present at different floors of the ill-fated apartment before it collapsed. Since 24 hours have passed, there are little chances of survival of anyone and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) teams are clearing the rubble to clear the site,” Shiradkar added.
He said the rubble contained the valuables of the families which lived in the building and so these will be collected and handed over to the families/victims rescued.
The commissioner of police said an FIR was registered against the builders of the Alaya apartment, identified as Mohammed Tariq, Nawazish Shahid and Fahad Yazdani and Nawazish Shahid had been arrested by the Meerut police and he was being brought to Lucknow.
“Five teams have been formed to arrest the remaining two of the culprits named in the Alaya building collapse case,” he added.
Shiradkar said that police had registered the FIR under the charges of Indian Penal Code sections 308 (attempt to commit culpable homicide), 420 (cheating), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) against the three accused at Hazratganj police station.
“We arrested former minister and Samajwadi Party leader Manzoor Ahmed's son Nawazish in connection with the building collapse. As per the records available with the district administration the land agreement of the plot on which the apartment was constructed, is in the name of Nawazish. We have made five police teams to arrest the other two and raids are going on at all the possible hideouts of the two accused,” he said.
As per the FIR, the owners of the apartment were drilling the basement for some construction for the last two days and it was opposed by the residents of the flats as it was consistently shaking the building but the protests fell on the deaf ears. The building had 13 flats. Poor construction material was used and despite disapproval construction was done in the apartment.
Minutes after doctors pronounced the death of Uzma and her mother-in-law, Abbas alleged that the NDRF team did not drill the spot suggested by them. He further alleged that water and oxygen was not supplied to the victims, including his mother Begum Haider, and wife. Abbas made the allegations while talking to journalists at SPM Hospital. He said the policemen and rescue teams officials were busy in photo sessions by the media persons present at the scene in large numbers. He said the officials kept saying that they would supply water and oxygen but did not do so.
He further alleged that the administration was not handing over the bodies of his wife and his mother though he had given an undertaking for autopsy.
Abbas and his supporters were seen accusing the administration of being unsympathetic to him in a video which went viral on social media and WhatsApp groups in the afternoon. The bodies were later handed over to the family.
However, Shiradkar, on being asked about the allegations, said that the rescue operation was done in front of all and the best possible effort was made to rescue the residents. "We have full sympathy and express condolences to the family," he said.