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Buy Our Houses, We Want To Leave, Say Non-Maharashtrian Residents In Mumbai

A thousand odd families in Pisavle in Dombivli have signed a petition to the state government expressing their desire to quit the state because of attacks from MNS goons, reports Mumbai Mirror. On Saturday, when
PTI May 02, 2010 10:31 IST
PTI

A thousand odd families in Pisavle in Dombivli have signed a petition to the state government expressing their desire to quit the state because of attacks from MNS goons, reports Mumbai Mirror.

On Saturday, when Raj Thackeray's Maharashtra Navnirnman Sena and Bal Thackeray-led Shiv Sena were busy celebrating Maharashtra's 50 years of statehood, some thousand odd families in Pisavle in Dombivli were signing a petition expressing their desire to quit the state.

Due to frequest attacks from their Maharashtrian neighbours and frustrated over Mumbai police looking the other way, these families, a majority of them from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, have now decided to leave the state.

The Mirror story says, on Thursday night, a mob of around 150 led by a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena leader had barged into their homes, pulled out men and women, and assaulted them with sticks and iron roads. None of the houses owned by Marathis in the neighbourhood were touched by the rioters.

The report says, on Friday evening, a small-time businessman, Vinod Mishra, 28, was attacked by armed men. "He was on his way to work when some men surrounded his bike and started hitting him with sticks and iron rods. Once they were done thrashing him, they flung him into a gutter and left," said L P Tiwari, Mishra's uncle.

Mishra was taken to Shridevi Hospital in Kalyan (west) by a passerby. He is now being treated for multiple fractures and head injuries. Battling for life, Mishra can barely talk. "They saw me and just started hitting me. They kept saying 'ha bhaiyya ahe, mara!," said Mishra haltingly.

The latest incident has spread panic among the north Indians in Pisavle. On Saturday, community leaders circulated a petition across houses owned by north Indians. The petition pleads with the Maharashtra government to buy all the properties owned by non-Maharashtrians in Pisavle so that they can return to their native land.

“How long can we take this torture? Almost every day we are roughed up and abused. We are disparagingly called bhaiyyas and par prantiyas (non-Maharashtrians)? Every time someone gets beaten up, the police merely file a complaint and arrest the accused, but nothing concrete comes out of it,” said Satyapal Singh, who visited Mishra at the hospital.

 “It is better we go back to our states than get beaten up every day and live in constant fear. The hatred runs far too deep here and, of course, the cops don't want to do anything about it,” said Mishra's uncle.

By Saturday evening, over 500 residents had signed the petition which will be handed over to Chief Minister Ashok Chavan. “Maharashtra has been our karmabhoomi and we will be saddened to leave it. But how long can we tolerate such atrocities?” asked Hamid Syyed, a resident of Pisavle.

Pisavle has around a thousand north Indian families – that's about 60 per cent of the local population. After Thursday's attack, several north Indian families had abandoned their houses. They returned only late on Friday.

The local police, however, deny any Marathi-North India divide. Subhash Divekar, a senior inspector of Manpada police, described the clashes as a ‘minor case'. “Such fights happen and people get injured. We have filed an FIR and action will be taken. There is no communal divide in my jurisdiction,” he said.