FIR against 21 for ‘terrorising’ Neo-Buddhist family in Mumbai
Shailesh Singh, one of the accused also got an FIR registered, claiming that Shubhangi Gaikwad and her family members had attacked him during a protest against the redevelopment project carried out by Ambit Builders.
A special court last week ordered the Mumbai Police to register an FIR against 21 people, including two builders and a BJP worker, for terrorising a Neo-Buddhist family and forcibly evicting them from their Vikhroli home.
The petitioner, Shubhangi Gaikwad, who lives in Vikhroli’s Tagore Nagar, had approached the special SC/ST Act court on October 15, two days after submitting a complaint against the 21 men to the deputy commissioner of police (Zone VII).
Gaikwad lives with her family in a chawl in Vikhroli East, which is slated to undergo redevelopment.
According to her complaint, Shailesh Singh, the developer first appointed to execute the project by the Slum Rehabilitation Authority, backed out last year after being unable to fulfil legal obligations towards the residents. He was replaced by Rajendra Sharma and Manoj Vishwakarma of Ambit Builders.
In her petition, Gaikwad alleged that Singh and his cousin Pankaj Singh, whom she has named as accused number one, harboured a grudge against her ever since.
Gaikwad added that Singh, along Sharma and Vishwakarma — all local developers — later ganged up against her family.
She said that on January 3, 2018, the Singh cousins and 19 others, including local BJP worker Shailesh Shetty, who works with Ambit Builders, “went on a rampage”, ransacking shops owned by her husband in Tagore Nagar as well as the family’s vehicles, while also hurling casteist slurs at them. Gaikwad claimed that Shetty hired the other attackers.
In her petition, Gaikwad accused Singh of deliberately targeting her family members “with an intention to terrorise them and oust them from Tagore Nagar, Vikhroli.”
Singh and Shetty also allegedly deliberately disrupted the cable and Internet connections of the cable service run by Gaikwad’s husband with an intention of taking over its operations, she alleged. In her petition, Gaikwad claimed that the systematic targeting by the accused was rooted in the fact that the Gaikwads are “an enterprising and flourishing family from the Ambedkarite Buddhist community,” her petitioned stated.
Gaiwkad’s lawyer, Kanishk Jayant, argued in court that following the violence, the family feared for its life and had to flee its home.
Singh, meanwhile, got an FIR registered at Vikhroli police station, claiming that Gaikwad and her family members had attacked him during a protest against the redevelopment project carried out by Ambit Builders.
In her petition, Gaikwad said that she could not counter Singh’s allegations of attempted murder for several days as she was busy filing for anticipatory bail and ensuring the safety of her family. Gaikwad finally submitted a written complaint to the police on January 9 but claimed that no action was taken on it.
Earlier this month, she again approached the police with a complaint, asking that the accused be booked under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.
In her petition, Gaikwad added that Singh had “hatched a criminal conspiracy and gave a political and communal colour to it with an intention to permanently tarnish the social image of the present complainant’s husband in order to grab his flourishing cable business.”
After hearing Jayant’s arguments over two dates, Sessions Judge K R Joglekar passed an order on October 26 directing the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Vikhroli Division) to file an FIR against the 21 men named in Gaikwad’s complaint.
Courtesy : The Indian express