Properties worth Rs 17.25 crore belonging to "builder mafias" were attached by the Gautam Buddh Nagar police in connection with illegal constructions in Greater Noida's Shahberi, officials said on Friday.
Proceedings were launched against eight builders and their properties attached under Section 14 of the Uttar Pradesh Gangsters and Anti-Social Activities (Prevention) Act, 1986, they said.
On July 17, 2018, two adjoining buildings in Shahberi village had collapsed, leaving nine people, including a child and two women, dead.
A probe by local authorities and administration later found that the buildings had come up illegally and without any proper approval, as did several others over the years in Shahberi, less than 50 km from Delhi.
"On instructions of Police Commissioner Alok Singh, movable and immovable properties acquired through criminal and illegal means in Shahberi by the builders' mafia are being attached," Deputy Commissioner of Police, Central Noida, Harish Chander said.
"On Friday, properties of eight such builders estimated to be worth Rs 17.25 crore were attached," he said.
These builders have been identified as Furqan, Furqan Ahmed, Furqan Ali, Nitin Kumar, Ashish Kumar, Anees Khan, Abrar Khan and Kanha Vats, he added.
The immovable properties attached include over 30 apartments and 25 shops, Mr Chander said.
Similar action against gangsters and mafia who are engaged in illegal activities would continue in the future too, he said, adding that Friday's action was in pursuance of the proceedings initiated in the wake of the twin-building collapse two years ago.
Residents of Shahberi, a notified area under the Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority (GNIDA), however, raised concern over the police action.
"The police should also make clear the location of these properties which have been attached.
"If they have attached flats constructed illegally by these builders in Shahberi, then it is a mere eyewash because the Allahabad High Court vide an order in 2014 ordered status quo in Shahberi, which means no new construction could have taken place and the title (ownership of property) could not be changed until further court order," a resident, Sachin Raghav, said.