Thane housing society
Orchid building in Unnati Garden, Thane

Upon suffering months of mental torture and harassment after their 13-year-old son's stray cricket ball ended up on the windshield wiper of a society member's car, the D'souza family, who were residing in Unnati Garden, Thane, moved to Dubai on September 22.

The minor's father Anil D'souza told mid-day that his son Aryan could not live in that hostile atmosphere, "We couldn't face the harassment and torture anymore. We have taken the school leaving certificates of both the children and are now here in the UAE."

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"We cannot stay in a place where people are jealous and violent and do not like children. We could not simply move houses, as other flats in Mumbai are not as cheap comparatively. This incident has affected my son mentally and he's not willing to live there anymore," added Anil.

The incident allegedly occurred on June 9, when Aryan was playing cricket with other children from the building in the society's parking area. Their ball hit a car, damaging its windshield wiper.

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The car's owner spotted Aryan playing in the same spot the next day and took him to the society chairman Thomas Joseph.

Rebuked and threatened
The duo allegedly rebuked Aryan harshly, after which the car owner took Aryan to Anil and told him about the incident — minus the part where Aryan was taken to the society office and reprimanded, and even allegedly threatened with dire police consequences if he were ever seen playing in the parking lot again. mid-day reached out to Joseph, but he remained unavailable for comment.

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Anil noticed the following day that his son wasn't stepping out to play and was being reclusive and withdrawn. Upon being asked about his behaviour, Aryan then narrated the incident that had gone down in the society office.

No action
Following this, Anil filed a non-cognizable complaint at the Vartak Nagar police station, alleging that his son has been harassed and threatened and even approached the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (MSCPCR) about the incident. MSCPCR then asked cops to submit a detailed report in the case within 10 days. But, in a July 19 report 'Housing society's bullies yet to face police action', mid-day revealed how even preliminary statements weren't recorded in the case. While the cops did file a report eventually, Anil said, "I went to the police and MSCPCR, but it was of no use. They only keep saying that they will investigate the matter."

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