Sanpada residents protest plot allotment Juvenile crimes dip by 17% in six months this year
Cidco has given its approval to build a mosque; residents’ body cry foul
The Sanpada Rahiwasi Mahasangh (SRM), a forum of Sanpada residents, organised a morcha to CIDCO Bhavan on Thursday to protest against the allotment of a plot in Sanpada for a mosque. It said that the area has little Muslim population and so should not be given land in the area.
The trust, that has been allotted the plot, has termed the claims by the Mahasangh as misleading and stated that it completed the formalities for the purchase of the plot in 2008.
Saying that the community does not have a mosque in the area, it said they have paid the money but have been denied building permission.
Around a thousand residents, including women, joined the rally that began around 10am from Shree Ganesh Mandir at Sector 8 in Sanpada. They also blocked the Sion-Panvel highway. Several shops in the area downed shutters in protest.
Sunil Nath, a Sanpada resident, said, “Ninety per cent of the node’s population are Hindus. The authorities need to take this in to account and decide.”
Shiv Sena corporator Somnath Vaskar from the area said, “The administration needs to take our sentiments into account.”
Jagannath Jagtap, another resident, said: “The plot has been allotted because of some Cidco officials. We now hear that the Trust is going to get building permission. The administration needs to take right decision.”
A delegation of the protesters met Cidco joint managing director Rajendra Chavan and submitted a memorandum of their demands.
Milind Suryarao, one of the organisers of the protest, said, “The procedure to allot the plot to the Trust itself was wrong. Besides, some members of the Trust had three years ago agreed to take up an alternative place and we were even ready to contribute fund for it. But some went to the court on the issue.”
He said, “We are not against any religion but want justice for the people of Sanpada.”
Cidco joint managing director Protesters gather outside CIDCO Bhavan on Thursday. They also blocked the Sion-Panvel highway for some time. (Below) Shops at Sanpada down shutters in support of the residents’ protest. Rajendra Chavan said such plots are given after following proper procedure.
“Only when the no-objection certificate was given by the police, did we allot the plot. We have to act as per the orders of the court and inform it of any development in the issue. They had their demands and we will speak to all the stake holders like the Trust, police and the NMMC.”
He said, “Our objective is to ensure that there is peace and we will abide by the court which had asked us to sign the lease agreement.”
Tanzimul Muslimeen Trust, which has fought for the allotment of the mosque plot for the past 19 years, said it has completed all the required procedures to get the plot.
Dismissing the Rahiwasi Mahasangh Mahasangh’s claims that there are only a few Muslim families in Sanpada, Dadan Abdul Rehman, president of the Trust, said, “We have submitted a list of hundreds of Muslim families who live in the node to Cidco.”
He added, “We have even given an undertaking to Cidco that we will not have loudspeakers on the mosque. The plot is on an isolated spot near the railway yard.”
Dadan said, “No other plot at Sanpada has been allotted for a mosque as it is claimed. We are performing only the Friday namaaz in our office at Sector 5 for which we got permission for only a year. We cannot perform namaaz on the road.”
Dadan said that Cidco was bound to give one plot for a mosque in every node.
“After our Trust was registered in 1995, we were offered a choice of eight plots in Sanpada. The police refused to give NOC for seven due to objection by locals. Finally, the police NOC was given for a 700m plot at Sector 8 in 2008.”
Dadan, “After approval from Cidco board, urban development department and the home ministry, the plot was allotted to us on August 21, 2012. We paid Rs65.6 lakh for the plot. Cidco, after court orders, signed an agreement to lease with us. We applied to NMMC for building permission a year and a half ago, but it has been delayed.”
Dadan added: “We are only asking for justice. There are places of worship of all communities in residential colonies and there has never been any problem.”
Crimes committed by minors in Navi Mumbai have decreased by 17%, with only 57 cases registered in the first six months this year, as opposed to 68 cases registered in the corresponding period in 2015, said sources from the crime branch.
However, from January to June, 40 cases of theft were registered, as opposed to 18 cases in 2015. Four burglaries were registered this year compared to three last year.
Kidnapping, robbery, cheating and sexual harassment cases were also recorded.
“Most of these children in conflict with the law belong to the 14-17 age group. Many are from poor families and are slum dwellers,” said Ajit Shinde, a police inspector from the crime branch.
“After producing them before the child welfare committee, we send them to remand homes in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai,” he said.
“Sending children to remand homes is not the only solution. There, children meet others who have criminal backgrounds and may be influenced. The authorities should think of other ways to reform them,” said Shobha Murthy, founder of Aarambh NGO, which has been promoting the education of under-privileged children for the past 18 years.
According to senior officers, a lack of awareness among minors is a major reason for juvenile crimes.
“In many cases, minors in romantic relationship decide to run away from home. When the girl’s family complains, we have to register a kidnap or a sexual harassment case against the boy,” said another officer from the child protection unit.
Psychiatrists said children who are addicted to narcotics have criminal tendencies.
“Under the influence of drugs, children commit acts without thinking about the consequences. Their surroundings also play a vital role in encouraging them to commit crimes,” said Dr Omkar Mate, a clinical psychiatrist from Nerul.