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5 arrested in Bohra-Sunni tussle over redevelopment
Mumbai Mirror | Dec 11, 2016, 01.16 AM IST
(Top) Lakdawala’s family car was destroyed in the scuffle; (above) the complainant Mohammed Usman Lakdawala showing his injuries
Six months after alleged attack on Syedna’s brother, Sunni complainant claims project undertaken by Borha-led trust using force to garner the required votes.
Five Bohras were arrested on Monday more than six months after Sunnis from the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) transit camp filed an FIR alleging assault and rioting, among several other offences, during the holy month of Ramzan in June.
Although they were arrested, the five accused – Murtuza Rangwala, Mustafa Soni, Ali Asgar, Shabbir and Tahir –were granted bail the very same day by the Sewri Metropolitan Magistrates Court.
The case dates back to June, when the present complainant, Sarfaraz Usman Lakdawala, was arrested along with his two brothers on charges of attempting to murder the current Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin’s brother, Qaid Johar, when the latter had come for Ramzan sermons in the SBUT transit camp in Ghodapdeo.
According to Lakdawala’s complaint, he was assaulted by more than 300 people of the Bohra community after the incident.
In his complaint against Johar, filed through advocate M A Khan, and several other Bohra community members, Lakdawala has alleged that the murder attempt was not over any ‘parking issue’ as claimed by the other side and that he could call for an investigation only after he secured bail.
During the bail arguments, Lakdawala had argued that no weapon was recovered from the spot despite the case being that he had wielded a knife
“It is seen that facilities under the law of the land are available to rich people only; for poor people like us, there is a different law to be applied. We feel this goes against the soul of the India Constitution,” reads Lakdawala’s complaint.
The present arrests were made based on the CCTV footage of the alleged murder attempt that was provided by Lakdawala.
More than meets the eye
The complaint further claims that the issue has its roots in the SBUT redevelopment project, where to garner support, people were allegedly forced by the management, which is headed by Johar.
“With a view to gather majority support from non-consenting residents from our locality, the SBUT management had resorted to using force,” reads the complaint letter.
Lakdawala’s complaint also claims that he had approached Johar only to talk of the redevelopment project but he was denied a meeting with him.
He also has alleged bias on the part of the Byculla Police, claiming that although he had approached the police first with the complaint, his complaint was not registered till the other side reached the station. Moreover, they were arrested, while no one from the opposite party was arrested until the arrest earlier this week. SBUT is the largest urban cluster renewal undertaking in the city. While work finally seems to have started in the first cluster, a lot of people had moved out as early as 2008. The project has faced severe opposition in the past as well, especially from non-Bohra’s and shopkeepers from Chor Bazaar.
Despite repeated attempts, SBUT was unavailable for comments.