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Dharwad building collapse: Death toll rises to 17, seven HDMC officials suspended

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Dharwad, Mar 23: Six days after an under construction building collapsed in Dharwad, the death toll has risen to 17. The team investigating the case tracked down and arrested the architect of the building -- Vivek Pawar- from a lodge in Kolhapur. Meanwhile, the owners of the collapsed building -- Ravi Basavaraj Sabarad, Basavaraj D Nigadi, Gangappa S Shintri and Mahabaleshwar Puradagudi surrendered to the Dharwad Suburban Police.

Dharwad building collapse: Death toll rises to 17, seven HDMC officials suspended

The five accused have been booked under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), 337 (Causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life) of the IPC. Police say that the accused have applied for anticipatory bail.

Earlier on Saturay, Minister for Urban Development U.T. Khader had said that seven officials of the Hubballi Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) have been suspended in connection with the building collapse in Dharwad earlier in the week.

[Dharwad building collapse: 7 officers suspended for dereliction of duty]

Rescue operations are still on with three teams of the National Disaster Response Force on the ground along with state emergency response personnel. The rescue teams suspect that five more people may be trapped inside the debris.

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy, who visited the spot on had announced that the compensation amount will be increased. Currently, families of deceased persons are eligible to obtain Rs 2 lakh compensation while the injured are slated to get Rs 50,000.

Meanwhile, netizens have launched a series of allegation against the state government for providing just 2 lakh compensation for the kin of the deceased. Posts comparing the compensation amount in tragedies in South Karnataka and North Karnataka were shared on social media.

A case has been filed under section 304 (punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC against the owners of the building and a special team will be constituted to investigate the case and arrest the culprits.

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