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Pune wall collapse: FIR registered against builder, contractor along with others

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Pune, July 02: An FIR has been registered against builder, land owner, and a few other officials in connection with the collapse of a compound wall of the Sinhgad group of institutes in Ambegaon, Pune, today which left six labourers dead.

It has been raining heavily in Mumbai and Pune for close to five days now, affecting normal life. Mumbai has been especially hard hit by the rain. At least 27 people have been killed in separate incidents of wall collapse in the state due to heavy rains.

A file photo

This came close on the heels of the Kondhwa wall collapse incident that occurred on early Saturday last week, killing 15 labourers and their kin, including four children and two women.

A court in Pune today extended till July 6 the police custody of two builders arrested in connection with the wall collapse incident in Kondhwa area in which 15 labourers were killed.

Vipul Agarwal and Vivek Agarwal were arrested on Saturday after a portion of a 22-foot-high compound wall of a housing society collapsed on adjoining shanties of construction workers following heavy rains. Judicial Magistrate (First Class) A S Deshpande extended the duo's custody till July 6.

[Two arrested in connection with Pune wall collapse]

Vipul and Vivek are partners in Alcon Landmarks that had built the housing complex. Seeking further police custody of the duo on Tuesday, the prosecution argued that on April 15, the chief engineer of the Pune Municipal Corporation had instructed all the builders in the city to shift settlements of construction workers to safer places, away from walls, trees and nullahs.

"It was the accused's responsibility to inform about such directions to builders from Kanchan Royal Exotica project," the prosecutor said.

The labourers who died in the incident were working for the Kanchan Royal Exotica project. Vipul and Vivek Agarwal also know the whereabouts of the other accused but were not forthcoming with information, therefore they needed to be quizzed further, the prosecution added. Residents of the housing society have alleged that they had warned the builders in February about the wall tilting outward, but no action was taken.

"It is also needed to be investigated whether the wall was constructed as per the (sanctioned) design and whether it was capable of withholding pressure," the prosecutor said.

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