Vigilante Action or an Act of desparation?

This appeared in the Mumbai mirrior today

On Monday, over 200 residents of five apartments at Teen Haath Naka in Thane introduced a new form of mob rule when they pulled down six illegal shops that had come up on the main road outside their buildings. The residents of Shivanand Society, Param Tower, Sky View Apartment, Kamal Apartments and Radheshyam Society, all on Mohanji Sunderji Road, Teen Haath Naka, got on to the streets with rods and sticks on Monday morning and razed the six shops within 15 minutes. read on

Now you can call it vigilante action but to be very frank, i side with these residents because i consider it as an act of desperation. I know how poorly laws are enforced in this country, and how seriously the law keepers take tax paying citizens problems and complaints. Mumbai the financial capital of this country is bogged down by these squatters unwanted hawkers and land grabbers, stalling whatever little is promised as development as these people are big vote banks for corrupt politicians who put development on the back burner just so that they can get their votes. The biggest example is the Airport Modernisation and its stalling. And why only Mumbai other cities like Bangalore , Chennai, Delhi infact name any tier 1 or 2 city this is a common feature

Even after areas are declared No hawking Zones by directives of Supreme court, rule of law here is seldom obeyed. Every official from the Police to the BMC to the person sitting in the ‘Loot Gadi’ or BMCs flash raid party is bribed. In fact right next to my society, small stall owners thrive right under a no hawking zone , that too playing loud fm music, non stop 10 am to 6pm  and no one has been able to move them, even after several complaints to the Bmc and police.

Good people like G R Khairnar are hounded out of service.

Getting back to the point, what lead them to take such drastic steps?

Lax enforcement of laws by police and the TMC , A justice system that will take ages to resolve a case and mainly it is the lack of fear in the heart of the likes of Mr Tiwari who go about their work unabatedly… sometimes through bribing and sometimes through Political Patronage.

The residents claimed they were “forced” to demolish the structures as their numerous complaints to the local police station and the Thane Municipal Corporation had gone unheeded.

Madhukar Mahadik, 40, a resident of Param Towers said, “About a year-and-a-half back, one Santosh Tiwari erected two shops with the help of tin sheets on the footpath and occupied the entire approach road to our society. We had complained to Thane Municipal Corporation and Wagle Estate police station about the encroachments, but they took no action.”

Meanwhile, in the last one year, four more shops and a temple came up on the same footpath. “Tiwari purposely built the temple so that he could delay the demolition planned by authorities. Whenever residents used to object to his construction activity, women from his family would come forward and threaten us that they would frame us in a case,” said Satyaprakash Sharma, resident of Kamal Apartments. “Tiwari was just unstoppable and tried to erect two more shops exactly in front of our gates even though the court case is on. He abused and threatened us when we protested this morning. It sparked a fight and all the residents got down with rods and sticks to break down the shops,” Shinde said

Residents of Sky View Apartment had recently moved Thane district court against Tiwari for encroaching on the land. “The case is still going on in court, and we were trying to get justice,” said Meenal Kachre, a Sky View resident.

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7 thoughts on “Vigilante Action or an Act of desparation?

  1. well i am a bit confused about this news….
    on one hand i believe that mob justice is the most dangerous trend that is happening in this country and if not controlled will drag the country down to an abyss.
    while on the other hand i cannot find anything wrong with what these guys did

    BTW: how much traffic does ur DD posts get.

  2. tell me what else can they do
    they work hard pay more taxes than anyone in % terms , buy overpriced flats with cuts in water and e/c and then dont even have the place to walk in the streets leading to their houses

    read the comments in that article – ok some may be anti bihari but public reaction says it all

    dd posts – give me a huge amt of traffic
    150+ hits a day sometimes more

  3. Shocks like this might wake up the administration, but if not controlled, the mobs may wreck mayhem. The last thing I would imagine is Tiwari bringing a gang of 40 bhaiyaas men to retaliate.

  4. I read this news and my first reaction was sympathy for the residents as there was no doubt that the shop-keepers were bribing the officials. However as I thought about it, I am not for the action of the residents. I am against mob rule. There are other ways to get justice. Yes often one doesn’t get justice, specially in a country like ours, but these residents managed to get it because of sheer numbers. There are hundreds of small groups who suffer as they are not large enough to make such a ruckus. And millions of individuals who suffer too.
    There are many ways to fight the system…long tortuous ways with the end uncertain. We have to choose those ways, that is what I think. The end does not justify the means.

  5. thanks folks
    nita though i agree with u but the way things are there is no alternative left, something ruhi agrees with too…
    yes priyank’s fears are not without justification but then what else can they do when no one cares?
    reminds me of that movie dombivali fast…
    also of Gandhi and his statement on sufferer of injustice being a bigger criminal or something on those lines
    u put it very nicely
    long tortuous ways with the end uncertain (that is if u last that long)
    please do suggest some viable alternative if u can find one nita

  6. I meant the end does not justify the means, sorry for the typo. And don’t agree with Ruhi here 🙂 But then one doesn’t have to agree on everything, does one!

    True one doesnt, this is the beauty of reasonable argument and real democracy 🙂 ps i corrected ur comment

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