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Delhi building owner held
Rescue work on at the cave-in site on Tuesday. Picture by Prem Singh

New Delhi, Nov. 16: Amrit Pal Singh, 58, owner of the unauthorised east Delhi building that collapsed last night killing 66 people, had been to jail several times on charges ranging from forgery to attempt to murder, police said today.

Singh, missing since the collapse, was arrested from Geeta Colony in east Delhi this evening, a senior Delhi police officer said. “A case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder has been slapped against him. He will be produced in a city court tomorrow,” the officer said.

The 15-year-old, four-storey building, where a fifth floor was being added illegally, came crashing down around 8.15pm yesterday. Eighty people were injured.

The officer said Singh, a cement trader, had at least 21 cases registered against him. “Cases were registered against him at Kalyanpuri, Daryaganj and Gandhi Nagar police stations. He had been to jail several times in the past and was involved in criminal activities for the past 30 years.”

Singh has been in the construction business with his two brothers for the past 25 years, the officer said. “He had contacts with a section of municipal corporation employees and police personnel and thrived on illegal construction in parts of east Delhi.”

Singh, who had cheating, forgery, assault and attempt to murder cases against him, was also involved in black marketing and manufacture of adulterated cement, police said.

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