Jigna Vora for Mumbai Mirror
Mumbai, Feb 28: A mother and her daughter were allegedly beaten up and abused by a builder and his men when they went to request him to vacant their bungalow that he had taken from them on leave and licence.
Jai Jumani, 58, and her daughter Shurdha, 25, leased their bungalow in Borivli (East) to Mitesh Rughani, a builder, for a period of 11 months.
On January 30 Jumani and Shurdha called on Rughani at about 11.30 am to take back possession of their bungalow. However, to their surprise, Rughani refused to vacate the bungalow and began arguing with them.
Shurdha said, “After a while, he began abusing us and refused to vacate the bungalow. He insisted on making a fresh agreement for another 33 months. He said in case we were not ready to renew the agreement, we would have to pay him Rs 10 lakh. When I asked that why should we pay him the money, Rughani said he had renovated the place and spent nearly Rs 15 lakh on it.
“I reminded him that we had rented the premises for residential purposes, but he had converted it into his office and was using it for commercial purposes — this was a clear violation of the agreement.
“He threatened us saying that if we approached the police, we would have to face dire consequences. He said he was a well-known builder and knew many top-level police officials.
Shurdha points to the wound she sustained on her arm when builder Mitesh Rughani’s men allegedly manhandled her. “Finally Rughani said that if we didn't leave the premises immediately he would get us killed and make it look like a case of accidental death.”
Shurdha added, “When we still refused to pay the money, Rughani warned me saying that he would turn me into a sex worker and strip me in public.”
The mother-daughter had given the premises to Rughani through a mediator Kaushik Patel, who was their family friend.
Since January 30, the mother and daughter they have been too scared to venture out of their Borivli (W) flat. Last week, Shurdha contacted her school principal who advised her to get in touch with Mohan Makani, a social worker. They met Makani on February 20. Makani advised them to lodge a written complaint to ACP Tukaram Chouhan.
Makani told them to state in the complaint that if anything happens to them Rughani should be held responsible. Makani then told them to go to the bungalow and speak to Rughani once again.
The duo then went to meet Rughani on Monday. Shurdha said, “About 12 men were present in the bungalow. Rughani didn’t pay any attention to us. Instead he asked the men to deal with us. One of them pulled my mother’s hair and dragged her out of the room. When I tried to intervene, I was assaulted. Then the men dragged us and threw us out of the house.”
The duo, along with Makani, then went to the police station. ACP Chouhan asked them lodge an FIR and also directed a senior police inspector to take action against the builder. Rughani was booked for assaulting, extortion, threatening and injuring the modesty of a woman.
On Monday, Rughani was arrested by the Kasturba Police Station, Borivali and has been remanded in police custody. The police are on the look out for Patel, who is absconding.
“We trusted these men, but they cheated us. We will fight it out till the end,” said a determined Shurdha.