Week before SSC exam, 15-yr-old loses her roof

Tragedy struck the Khan family after officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) evicted the husband-wife duo and their five children from their residence in Sewri Koliwada yesterday afternoon. What aggravated the problem for the Khans is that one of their children’s SSC examination is just a week away and she is unable to trace her notes and textbooks that got misplaced during the eviction.

Saba Khan
Saba Khan prepares for her SSC exam amid haphazardly dumped household items after her family’s eviction

Lalmohammed Nawasali Khan (50) had been living with his wife and five children in room number 12 of a chawl in Sewri Koliwada, a civic property, as tenants for the last 35 years. But a family dispute between Lalmohammed and his niece Noorjahan Khan, over the ownership of the property, led to the BMC evicting the Khans and sealing the house. Lalmohammed claimed that civic officials were accompanied by police personnel and paid no heed to his requests of giving him extra time to vacate the house.

Lalmohammed with his wife Shakira
Lalmohammed with his wife Shakira at Sewri Nursing Home yesterday. Pics/Satyajit Desai

Future jeopardised
The Khans’ eviction has taken its toll on their daughter Saba Khan (15), who was preparing for her SSC exam starting March 5. With no roof over her head and the missing study material, Saba is struggling to concentrate on her studies.

A teary-eyed Saba said, “I never expected that such an incident would happen right before my exam. With less than a week in hand, I am studying hard and working on giving my best. My family has been rendered homeless. I do not know where we would sleep tonight or where I would sit and prepare for the exam.” Saba was supposed to attend school yesterday for confirming her exam centre, but their eviction prevented her from doing the needful. Adding to her worries was her mother Shakira Khan’s (45) ill health, who is currently admitted at Sewri Nursing Home, after she collapsed during the eviction.

She said, “My mother is unwell and to make matters worse, a few of my books and notes are missing. I hope my science and history notes are not lost because I find these subjects tough.” Explaining his side of the story, Lalmohammed said that initially the room was registered in the name of Hadis Khan (his elder brother) and he purchased it from him. But the civic officials claimed that Lalmohammed failed to produce documents showing transfer of ownership right when they asked for it. They also said an eviction notice was served to Lalmohammed 20 days ago.

Lalmohammed said, “I bought this property from my elder brother in 1983 for Rs 1.5 lakh. But following his death, my niece is trying to claim the ownership to the property. I did not bother to document the transfer, as it was a mutual agreement within the family. Now I am left with no house and my daughters are standing on the streets. I fear that my daughter’s performance in her exams will be affected because of this dispute. I have ration card, voting card and pan card, all of which are registered under this residential address. Still my niece claims that she is the rightful owner of this property.” Despite repeated attempts, Noorjahan remained unavailable for comment. 

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