Muslim buyer denied purchase of flat in Gujarati-dominant housing society in Mumbai

societyMUMBAI: The Manickpur police on Saturday filed a first information report (FIR) against 11 members of a Vasai housing society who recently signed a letter objecting to the sale of a flat to a Muslim.

TOI had in its exclusive report on Saturday mentioned how, on September 4, 11 flat-owners at the Happy Jivan Co-operative Housing Society , Sai Nagar, Vasai (W) signed a letter objecting to a member Kantaben Patel (55) selling her first-floor flat to a Muslim trader Vikarahmed Khan.

Vasai additional SP Yogesh Kumar said based on Khan’s complaint, a case has been registered and all the 11 have been summoned to the police station on Sunday. Under Sections 295 A (deliberate and mali cious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 298 (uttering words with deliberate intent to hurt the religious feelings of any person) of the Indian Penal Code, a case has been registered against the society members who signed the letter. All 11 have been asked to be present at the police station on Sunday. The police also visited the housing society on Saturday.

The society has 16 members, including two Muslim families, who have been staying in the 35-year-old building for two decades.The building has a mix of Gujaratis, Maharashtrians, north Indians, Punjabis and Muslims. Gujaratis are in a majority with nine members, including the Patels.The first-floor where the Patels stay is occupied by four other Gujarati families. The society members had in their letter told the Patels that they should not sell their flat to a Muslim as they would “disturb the atmosphere.” They were advised to sell the flat to someone from their own community.

Initially, the society denied the Patels a No-Objection Certificate for selling the flat on the grounds that the family had pending society dues of over Rs 50,000.When they agreed to pay the dues, the society convened a meeting and decided not to allow Muslims in the building, said Jignesh Patel, son of Kantaben.

The Patels had taken a token of Rs one lakh from Khan, who wanted the NOC to apply for a bank loan.Khan had zeroed in on the flat due to its proximity to his children’s school.

Society secretary Jeetendra Jain told TOI that a meeting would be held on Sunday to discuss the issue. He said that Patel was free to sell his flat to whoever he wanted to.He said that the decision to not allow Muslims was taken as the first-floor occupants had reservations about members from “other communities.”

Nisar Ali, one of the flat owners in the society who refused to sign the resolution said that all non-vegetarians in the building have always been co-operative with the vegetarians. Social activist RVK Mohiuddin also called for action against the society members for targeting a particular community.

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