A housing society brawl in Bona Ventura society in Dahisar snowballed into a major fight between Maharashtrians and Gujaratis on Thursday; one resident allegedly threw fish water on a few others, who retaliated by attacking the alleged instigator’s residence
A Dahisar society was rocked by a major distur-bance on Thursday night, when a housing society brawl snowballed into a political fight between Maharashtrians and Gujaratis, vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
Bona Ventura society, Dahisar (west). Pics/Sharad Vegda
On Thursday night, Bona Ventura society in Dahisar (west) was having a Brahma Bhojan to mark the end of Adhik Maas. The society consists of people from the Marathi, Jain, Gujarati and other communities.
Supriya Chavan, who says that she did not throw fish water on anyone, is seen outside the MHB police station
This building has not formed a co-operative society yet, since it does not have an Occupation Certificate from the BMC. The society is two years old.
According to residents, during the Brahma Bhojan, a resident of the 4th floor, Anita Chavan, and her daughter Supriya, threw water used to clean fish on them. When she repeated the act, the angry residents went up to her to ask for an explanation.
When she didn’t open the door, they banged on it, following which she opened the door and hurled eggs at them. One of the residents was even injured due to some glass she allegedly threw at them. In retaliation, they threw a bottle of water at her.
The whole thing worsened when Supriya allegedly hit someone with her phone. The lady who was injured had to be hospitalised due to the stress of the incident. Shilpa Gala, a 15th floor resident said, “First she threw one tumbler-full of fish water.
We ignored it, but then she poured a bucket-full of fish water on us. We went upstairs to talk to her about it, when she started hurling eggs at us. Is it our fault that we are Jain?” According to Gala, Chavan hurled 5-6 eggs on them. Supriya Chavan, the person at the heart of the matter, refused ever having thrown any fish water on the people.
According to her, the mob attacked her family because they “don’t mix with others”. According to Chavan, at around 11.30 pm on Thursday night, a mob knocked on her house door and when she opened it, they hurled eggs at her. According to her, they have a problem with the family since they have an objection to non-vegetarians.
But when it was pointed out that the building has other non-vegetarians who don’t pose a problem, she said that “it is because we don’t mingle with the other people. Birds of a feather flock together. Since we are all working people in the family, they don’t talk to us.”
According to Supriya, it was the mob which threw eggs at her, after which she had to call the police. The police escorted her and her family out. Supriya has now filed an FIR against the other residents. Jigna Shah, a 7th floor resident, said that this is not the first time the family has been involved in a controversy.
“In February, Govind Chavan (Supriya’s father) beat me because he was drunk. We filed a complaint with the police, and they had to give a written apology,” Shah said. Shah and 10-15 other society members were held up in the police station for about 5 hours for their statement. Their children were left home alone.
Senior Inspector Subhash Chavan from the MHB police station said, “We registered the case against more than six people under Section 324 (Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means) of the IPC and arrested them.
We also recovered CCTV footage of the society in which the mob gathered and attacked the Chavan family for eating and making fish and chicken at their residence. We also took in writing a complaint how the Chavan family was harassed.
We have given a warning to all the accused who are neighbours and released them on bail. We are investigating this matter further. We also did a medical test on the Chavan family and we found the injury marks of nails on their hands.”
Sonia Gawand, a 9th floor resident
I am a Maharashtrian myself. we eat non-vegetarian food. The society never had any problem with us. This issue should not be portrayed as a veg vs non-veg or Maharashtrian vs non-Maharashtrian issue. Everybody else in the society lives in harmony but it is this family which has been controversial
Dixit Jain, lives opposite Chavan’s flat
There is no such rule in the society that non-vegetarian food is not allowed. During the Holi celebration and other celebrations in the past, we have always organised both types of food. About 50 per cent residents of the society are Maharashtrians. We don’t have any problems with each other.