Wednesday, 17 July 2013

'missing' City Lights building collapse victim

A week after the ill-fated City Light Hotel crashed, fresh police investigation has revealed that Ashok Kamble, initially feared dead in the collapse, was not at the crash site, raising doubts about the family's claims.

Ashok's wife K Meera gave a statement to the police that her husband was employed at the hotel for two months and was at work at the time of collapse. Though none of the 17 bodies that were recovered from the building was identified as Ashok's, the family insisted that he was present during the collapse. At the family's insistence that the rescue workers may have overlooked Ashok's body, the police along with volunteers sifted through the rubble on Monday, but to no avail.

What flies in the face of family's claims is that the owner, supervisor and the injured employees of City Light Hotel, failed to recognize Ashok. Also, analysis of call details of Ashok's cellphone helped the cops establish that his phone was switched off since July 4. A service message that was received by the number on July 10 helped the cops trace the signal to Warangal.

But his wife maintains that she spoke to her husband over the phone on July 6, though earlier she had claimed that she called him on July 7, a day before the mishap. However on careful questioning, some family members told the investigating officials on Tuesday that Ashok was working for a tent house on RP Road. The relatives added that Ashok was seen at his last employer's place a week before the crash.

The cops also learnt that Ashok was a welder by profession in his home town in Maharashtra and it is highly unlikely that he could have been employed in a kitchen. "The people of the hotel even identified one of the unclaimed bodies lying in Gandhi Hospital though they do not have the address of the deceased. When 17 bodies were extracted, how can one body go missing? The information we have gathered so far goes against the claims of Ashok's wife. We suspect the family seeks to make undue gains from the situation," said a police official.

To rule out all possibilities, investigating officials have now sent out the IMEI number of Ashok's dual sim phone to all service providers in order to determine if new sim cards are being used in the phone. Officials also said they would question the neighbours of Ashok's family.

Tuesday 17 July 2013


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