Activist alleges kith and kin of gangsters pumping in black money for illegal construction in the area
Shahid Qureshi has allegedly built a 10-storey building under the guise of repairing the existing three-storey structure.
Dongri, the hub of revenge and contract killings, was synonymous with the underworld in the '90s. Not much seems to have changed. A local activist has alleged that close aides and relatives of underworld gangsters, including those accused of terror activities, are not only engaging in illegal construction in the neighbourhood, but also channelling black money into the same, with the authorities hardly concerned.
Mohammed Hussain Chaudhary, 37, a social worker from Dharavi, has written to Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis as well as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the police, requesting action in the matter.
Chaudhary has alleged that the latest one to engage in this illegality is Shahid Qureshi, Chhota Shakeel's brother-in-law — converting a three-storey building into a 10-storey one. "I have asked the CM and local bodies to put an end to this practice and demolish the illegal structure. The police need to look into the matter and investigate the trail of the money that Qureshi is investing. It's clearly indicative of an underworld link," he said.
"He has raised 10 floors in the heart of the city. Despite this happening right before their eyes, no action has been taken by the BMC."
The building in question is situated at 316/320 on Ibrahim Rehmatual Road, Ghagagiri Mohala's second cross lane.
Conning home buyers
This isn't the first instance. mid-day had reported in October 2016 about a similar construction, wherein Tariq Parveen, a close aide of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, had brought up a building. While Parveen has been lying low to avoid the authorities' attention, Qureshi has been going all guns blazing, doing the same.
In 2015 as well as in October and November 2016, Chaudhary had complained about Parveen's underworld connections and his investment in illegal construction. The Central Intelligence Unit of the Mumbai Police had then called Chaudhary for questioning and to record his statement.
"While undertaking repairs, they raise the number of floors. Later, they sell the extra flats at a rate higher than the one prevailing in the market, thereby earning in crores. We are concerned about homebuyers who get cheated in the bargain. They are risking stay in illegal structures that don't have an occupancy certificate. Authorities must book those involved in this scam, including the architect, engineer and contractor," he added.
In October 2016, mid-day had reported about Dawood aide Tariq Parveen raising a building from three to eight floors in six months
Uncovering the truth
Assistant Municipal Commissioner of C ward Jivak Gheghamal, however, claimed that the original structure was seven-storied and not three. "The owner, after acquiring permissions from MHADA, was carrying out repairs and building the eighth floor. After we received a complaint, we took action to ensure that the eighth floor was not built," he said.
"Tenants suffer because owners engage in illegality to make a quick buck. We had sent notices to them in the past, after which they had moved the Bombay High Court, which ordered a stay on all work in the area," he added.
Chaudhary, who said he visited the building just a day ago, contested the BMC's claim, "It is covered by carpets and plastic sheets, behind which construction is going on in full swing. And since the monsoon is on, authorities haven't paid a visit to the spot.
In early 2000, Parveen had fled to Dubai along with Dawood’s brother Iqbal Kaskar after their names cropped up in the illegal construction of the Sara-Sahara shopping complex, allegedly built at the fugitive don’s behest, in Crawford Market. While Kaskar was deported from the Gulf country in 2003, Parveen was deported in 2004. In April 2016, Parveen had allegedly brought up an illegal eight-storey building near Abdul Rehman Shah Baba Dargah in Dongri within six months. He was also booked for attempting to extort money from a builder.
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