A Mumbai builder has allegedly refused to sell a flat to a Mumbaikar on grounds that he was a Marathi, sparking a protest on Friday.
The unpalatable experience was narrated by a resident of suburban Goregaon, Vaibhav S. Rahate who attempted to a buy a flat from Shrinathji Builders in Malad recently.
Shocked by the refusal, Rahate went to lodge a complaint with the Malad police station. But the police, he said, refused to entertain his grievance.
When Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam was informed, he and other party workers, including local legislator Aslam Shaikh, rushed to Malad on Friday and staged a sit-in protest, demanding action against the builder.
"The builder virtually drove Rahate and his family away, saying he did not allow Marathis to buy flats in his building," Nirupam told reporters.
Deputy Commissioner Vikram Deshmane and other officials rushed to the police station to placate the agitated activists and assured them that a probe would be instituted against the builder
Nirupam said certain builders have shown preference for selling flats only to Gujarati, Jain or Marwari communities and do not encourage members of other communities to live amongst them.
"Mumbai is a cosmopolitan city and we shall not permit such injustice to anybody, including a Marathi, and such tactics by builders would not be tolerated," Nirupam said.