'Accused in Palm Beach FSI scam threatened me'

Complainant alleges 11 people entered his office, demanding that he sign an affidavit stating he wanted to withdraw the FIR; CCTV footage at his office captures the accused

A day after the Navi Mumbai police registered FIRs against DCP Dattatray Shinde, NMMC officials and a group of developers for forging documents for the construction of a 21-storey building in Kharghar and another on Palm Beach Road, the complainant claims to have received threats from the accused.

The building in Kharghar that was allegedly constructed by violating
FSI norms

NRI Sunil Lohariya (51) registered a complaint in Vashi police station, alleging that Shinde and the others have been intimidating him incessantly, demanding that he withdraw his FIR at Nerul and Kharghar police stations.

"In three days, I got more than 50 threat calls from a city DCP, his subordinates, politicians and builders to withdraw the FIR," Sunil Lohariya told MiD DAY.

Lohariya owns a construction business in New Zealand and has an office at Sector 29, Vashi. He said that on Wednesday morning, 11 persons accused in the Palm Beach FSI scam, came to his office and threatened him to withdraw the complaint. They made an affidavit in the name of Lohariya and gave it to him to sign (copy with MiD DAY), he alleged. The pictures of the accused have been captured by the CCTV cameras installed in Lohariya's office.

Stills from the CCTV footage captured at Lohariya's office that show the
11 accused entering and seated in his office

"One of the accused, Dinesh Patel, threatened me to withdraw the complaint against Shinde. They also produced an affidavit in my name, which states that I want to withdraw the complaint, and demanded my signature on it," said Lohariya. "But I refused to sign it." The accused have given him 24 hours to sign the affidavit or be prepared to face the consequences, Lohariya said.

After the incident, Lohariya complained to Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Javed Ahmed via an SMS. Later, Senior Inspector Laxman Kale of Vashi police station went to Lohariya's office and recorded his statement.

Said Kale, "Some persons against whom an FIR has been lodged at Nerul and Kharghar police stations went to Lohariya's office. I have recorded Lohariya's statement, and the investigation is on."

Lohariya is also mulling approaching the court. Advocate Mayura Maru, his lawyer, said, "On Friday, I will file a writ petition in the High Court, asking for a detailed inquiry in the matter. It should be clear who made the false affidavit."

Asked about the threats, DCP Shinde said, "I don't know anything about the matter. I don't even know any Dinesh Patel."

The FIRs
On Monday, the Nerul police registered an FIR against Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) officials Umesh Patil, Dilip Kulkarni and Sanjay Banaiet and six partners of Vighnahar developers in the Palm Beach Road FSI scam.
The names of the partners are Vijay Raoji Gajra, Lada Punja Ravasia, Dinesh Keshavji Patel, Versi Khimji Dama, Govind Dhavji Varchand and Keshavji Gavji Gala. All of them have been absconding.
The accused used more than the sanctioned FSI and earned crores in Vighnahar Heights, a 21-storey tower on Palm Beach Road, Vashi. The alleged breach came to light after Lohariya's complainant.
The Kharghar police also registered an FIR against DCP Dattatray Shinde, top CIDCO and MSEB officials and Abhishek builders and developers, under several IPC sections.
These accused have allegedly forged the documents and cheated the government of FSI while constructing a 21-storey building at Kharghar. The complainant in this FIR is Lohariya's associate, Pramod Narayan Mittal (42).

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