In face of increasing resistance to eviction from Campa Cola compound residents, the civic body here has filed a police complaint against those preventing officials from implementing the Supreme Court order even as its team has decided to try again to convince the occupants to leave the illegal flats today before opting for use of force.
According to Worli police, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) officials approached the cops late last evening armed with the video recording of their thwarted attempts yesterday to enter the housing complex in South Mumbai to cut off essential supplies to illegal flats. "The MCGM approached us late last night and filed a complaint against the residents of the Society. They have also provided us with the video footage of their attempts to enter the compound, which was blocked by the residents," an official from Worli police station told PTI.
The video recording will be examined and suitable action will be taken against the offenders, the official said. "Once we examine the footage provided to us by the authorities, we will take start further action. Today, we will be accompanying the MCGM officials to the compound to maintain law and order. We might be forced to take immediate action if the residents don't comply with the Supreme Court orders," the official added.
A case has been registered against the offenders under IPC Sections 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), Section 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), Section 141 (Unlawful assembly), Section 142 (Being member of unlawful assembly), Section 143 (Punishment for unlawful assembly), Section 145 (Joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse), Section 149 ( Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) and various sections of the Mumbai Police Act.
Yesterday, as the deadline set by authorities for vacating the flats ended, high drama was witnessed when MCGM officials descended on the upscale housing society in Worli only to be greeted with closed gates and implacable residents blocking them with repeated chants of "we want justice".
Yesterday, the authorities, who intended to cut off electricity, water and piped gas supplies to 102 illegal flats on the premises as part of their plan to force the occupants to vacate before demolition could be undertaken, had to beat a retreat after two failed attempts to convince the residents. "We will try to talk to the residents 2-3 times more and make them understand the importance of the Supreme Court order. If they do not relent, we might use force to carry out the court's orders," Mohan Adtani, Additional Municipal Commissioner had told PTI.
Adtani had also said that MCGM will also file a contempt petition in the Supreme Court in the next few days. "We have video-recorded the entire proceedings. We now have proof in our hands. We are mulling the idea of filing a contempt petition in the Supreme Court in the next couple of days," he added.
BMC goes slow on Day 1 of Campa demolition drive
BMC and the Mumbai police went slow on Friday, the first day of the former's drive to demolish illegal flats in Worli's Campa Cola Compound. They didn't cut gas and electricity connections, citing resistance by residents. BMC said disconnecting electricity and gas supply to unauthorised flats could not be undertaken as the residents blocked entry points to the buildings and refused to budge despite a Supreme Court (SC) order in this regard, amounting to contempt. Read more
Mumbai civic officials, residents face off at Campa Cola society
17 days after the Supreme Court rejected a petition by the residents against its earlier order asking them to vacate the flats, officials of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) reached the complex along with the police to cut power, water and piped gas supply to the illegal flats. However, they were prevented by slogan-shouting residents of the Campa Cola Housing Society in upscale Worli, who closed the iron gates and placed bamboo poles to prevent them from entering. "After issuing notices to the residents of Campa Cola under Section 488 of the MCGM Act, the deadline for the residents to vacate their flats has ended today. We have only come to cut off the water, electric and gas supply of the residents," an MCGM official present at the site said. Read more