They intimidated security; entered building to ask residents if any Muslim family resided there
The Godrej Waldorf building
On Friday afternoon, panic struck the residents of Godrej Waldorf building in Lokhandwala when two unidentified men barged in and started enquiring about Muslim families residing there. The ground-plus-16 storey tower has 18 families residing for nine years now. Celebrities like Shreyas Talpade and Nagesh Kukunoor are also among the building’s residents.
Still from the CCTV footage
According to Dr Ajay Chaughule, a cardiothoracic surgeon and member of the building’s managing committee, a young man with a backpack entered Waldorf at around 12 pm. Without disclosing his identity nor making an entry in the register, he went to the second floor and rang the doorbell. “It was answered by the chairman of the building. He asked her if the family staying there was Muslim. She replied in the negative.” The man repeated the act on the 15th floor as well. They also got to know that around the same time, another unidentified man was making similar inquiries in the adjacent wing of the building. The chairman alerted the building residents and also Dr Chaughule, who was at work at the time. He immediately called the Mumbai police control room. But, by the time the police reached the building, the men had left.
“Both the men had managed to intimidate the security guards with their arrogance. We don’t know the reason behind their questioning,” Dr Chaughule added. Subash Khanvikar, senior police inspector, Oshiwara police station, said, “We have received the complaint letter from a member of the society and we are looking at the CCTV footage too. We will probe the case from all possible angles.” He added, “We are also not ruling out the possibility of a community-based approach of candidates on the eve of the BMC elections, which is the why the men may have specifically asked about the Muslim residents in the building.” Dr Chaughule doesn’t agree with that line of reasoning. “In that case, the men would have acted differently,” he said.
Meanwhile, the police has intensified patrolling in the area and are looking for clues from the CCTV footage. The Anti-terrorism Squad is also probing into the matter.