Coronavirus scare: Andheri residents assault secretary over visitor entry

Updated: Mar 25, 2020, 07:20 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

Housing society secretary allegedly physically assaulted by a female resident over not allowing a visitor to enter the premises

A non-cognisable complaint has been lodged by Rakesh Coelho at Oshiwara Police Station. (Right) Rakesh Coelho alleged Seema Singh scratched him, pulled his goggles, and slapped him
A non-cognisable complaint has been lodged by Rakesh Coelho at Oshiwara Police Station. (Right) Rakesh Coelho alleged Seema Singh scratched him, pulled his goggles, and slapped him

The increasing levels of COVID-19 panic across the country on Monday led to an Andheri resident physically assaulting a resident of her building. Rakesh Coelho, 49, secretary of Tarapore Towers in Andheri West was allegedly assaulted by a resident on Monday morning for refusing to allow an outsider in the premises for the fear of infection.

The incident occurred on the society premises at around 10 am when Coelho was checking the security of the society. "I saw a woman waiting outside the entry gate, she told me she was a maid. I asked her to return home for her own safety but she said that her employer was coming to fetch her," he told mid-day, adding that the entry gate was locked with a chain at the time. "I then went towards the other gate of the building and saw that the maid had reached there, and the resident, Seema Singh, had come, asking for her to be let in. When I refused, Singh started abusing me. She scratched me, pulled off my goggles, and slapped me twice." Singh also "forcibly took" her to her house despite the society issuing a circular on March 22, stating that "all visitors including but not limited to house help/maids/dog walkers…will not be allowed to enter the society premises."

A non-cognisable complaint has been lodged by Coelho at Oshiwara police station. "At least 60 per cent of the residents in the society are senior citizens and are not in the best of health. Keeping our residents safe and out of harm's way is my biggest responsibility at the moment. My appeal to all residents of my society and the citizens, in general, is to please behave in a civilised manner and obey the instructions of the government and administrative bodies," he said. He added: "I will pursue all legal options at my disposal. Such uncivilised behaviour will not be

Singh said that the person Coelho did not let in was a distant relative of hers. "She had come to take groceries from me as all the shops were closed. He (Coelho) pushed me with tremendous force. As a woman, I have a bonafide right to protect myself," she said, adding, "She came since her purpose was to meet me. Nobody can stop a relative from coming over."

"We have asked them not to fight among themselves," said a duty officer at Oshiwara police station.

10am
Time on Monday when the incident took place

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