Mumbai: Rogue tenant defies cops, cuts off supplies to ailing couple
Following mid-day's report about how an old couple is being abused by squatter, activists' and police's attempts to help them fail
Even after the Manikpur police gave in writing that Salim Pirani, son of the elderly Vasai-based couple Zarina Banoo Pirani and Shaban Ali, be allowed to give them food, water and medicines in person, rogue tenant Raj Sharma has staunchly refused to allow him to enter the house.
Salim's wife Rashmi told mid-day that about 20 human rights activists and two officers visited the flat on Saturday and Sunday, but Sharma did not open the door. "The Manikpur police had given us in writing that we should be allowed to meet our parents to give them food, water and medicines but Sharma and his wife are adamant. A group of human rights activists and cops visited the flat but they did not open the door. We had to supply them food using the rope," she said.
Secretary of Mirchandani Garden IRIS CHSL, Prakash Lodaya confirmed the events described by Rashmi. Rashmi further said, "The cops said that the case details have been sent to the tehsildar as it is a civil dispute. But the elderly couple is being denied basic rights. I visited the tehsildar's office on Saturday, but the official concerned told me that they would visit the flat on Monday as it was the weekend."
Neighbours send a bag of supplies to Zarina the day after mid-day's report. Pic/Hanif Patel
"Sharma has cut off power supply to my in-laws' room. My mother-in-law has been barred from charging her phone. We were worried as we couldn't contact her for two days. Her cell phone battery had drained off. But on Sunday, when Sharma's wife opened the door slightly, one of the cops asked her to allow my mother-in-law to charge her phone," Rashmi added.
Human rights activist, Deepak Gosavi said, "When we visited the elderly couple's flat on Saturday, the tenant did not allow us in. Food was later supplied to them through a rope." "This is complete harassment. We visited the tehsildar's office and submitted a letter requesting the official concerned to resolve the issue at the earliest, as no one should be harassed like this. We have also requested the police to look into the matter," added Gosavi.
When contacted, Sharma said, "I have not stopped anyone from visiting the couple. If anyone wants, they can come and take them anywhere they want. The police have forwarded the matter to the tehsildar and the official concerned will look into it after checking the documents related to the flat. I have paid Rs20 lakh to purchase the house and Piranis have been trying to corner me in the fight. The truth will come out soon."
Requesting anonymity, a senior officer of Palghar police said, "We have given the case details to the tehsildar for the further course of action. On the request of the daughter-in-law, we gave them in writing that they should be allowed to supply the elderly couple with food and medicines in person. Also, our officers had visited the flat but the door wan not opened. We can't comment anything more on the matter."
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