FIR lodged against hotel owner, builder

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Ahmedabad, Feb 3 (UNI) The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) have lodged an FIR against the owner of the Shakunt hotel here which collapsed this morning, killing 6 people and injuring 40 others.

The builder of an adjacent building has also been booked in the same incident, police said.

The owner of Shakunt Hotel is considered close to a senior BJP leader in the state.

''The structure of the multi-storey hotel building was damaged due to the excessive digging carried out by the builder in the adjacent building,'' Municipal Commissioner I P Gautam said, adding that the hotel strcture was almost 25 years old and it was tilting for the past two/three days.

He said AMC officials had inspected the Building three days ago and State Bank of India, located on the ground floor of the building, had vacated the premises two days back due to the damage in the building.

''The hotel owner had started the work of strengthening of the building but at the same time, rented rooms to people. He should not have done that knowing that the building's structure has been affected due to excessive digging in the adjacent plot,'' the Commissioner added.

Mr Gautam said that the AMC had warned the hotel not to take occupants a few days ago.

''We think that both the owner of the hotel and the builder of the adjacent plot were responsible for the incident. We have registered an FIR against both of them,'' he added.

UNI PB VD HT1645

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