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Want they hadn't come to go to me, says father of Dongri victims – jj
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Want they hadn't come to go to me, says father of Dongri victims

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Nine-year-old Shahzad Idrisi and his brother Arbaz (7), who succumbed in the Dongri building collapse, received an emotional adieu at Gonda in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday. Their father, Mohammad Rashid, carried out the last rites and flew back to Mumbai within a day to be with his wife, Halima, who is admitted to the critical care unit of JJ Hospital.

“I wish they hadn’t come to visit me,” Mr. Rashid, who works as a tailor at Masjid Bunder, said. Mr. Rashid had rented a one-room flat in Kesarbai building for three months as his wife and children were visiting him. He had paid ₹30,000 as rent, and ₹10,000 as deposit.

Were to go home soon

“They were going to return to Gonda in the first week of August. I was about to finalise their tickets.” Mr. Rashid would then have gone back to sharing a room with other workers at Masjid Bunder.

Mr. Rashid has been living in Mumbai for seven years, but this was only the third time that his family had come visiting. “Every weekend, we would plan an outing. We went to Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Gateway of India, Chowpatty, Haji Ali dargah, and many other places. They were really enjoying their time here,” he said.

On Tuesday morning, Mr. Rashid left for work at 10 a.m. “I woke up the kids. Arbaz insisted to play on my mobile phone before I left.” Around 11.15 a.m., he received a call about the collapse and rushed back home on his motorcycle. “When I reached, I only saw debris. I couldn’t even understand where my flat had been,” he said. It was only around 5 a.m. the next day that the fire brigade could reach his family. While Halima was breathing, both the children showed no signs of life.

Mr. Rashid said he had rented the flat through a local broker. “I had no idea that the building was dilapidated. Had I known this, I would not have put my family’s lives in danger,” he said.

Five others stable

Six victims, including a four-year-old girl, remained admitted to JJ Hospital on Friday. Doctors said except for Halima, all other patients are in a stable condition. Firdaus Salmani (45) has suffered a head injury and nasal fracture, while Sajida Shehzad (58) had a fracture and crush injury, for which doctors have carried out a debridement procedure, which involves removing dead and damaged tissue.

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