In April 2021, Goa Chronicle had revealed the dangers rampant in various pockets of Navi Mumbai which had proven to be a ‘ticking time bomb’ on which the residents were visibly sitting- the illegal settlements which had housed innumerable Bangladeshi nationals for whom, Navi Mumbai, especially the areas of Sanapada and Vashi, had turned into a safe haven where they could live, enjoy pastimes, commute in vehicles and even take up jobs like selling vegetables and fruits and the flea market. While these Bangladeshis continued to ‘feel at home’, the locals felt unsafe and insecure to venture out into the streets for walks or to unwind.
Now, after almost a year of what was reported, we got back in touch with the local complainant, who has made umpteen numbers of complaints to the local and higher authorities, to take a gander at how things transpired and whether the illegal immigrants were expelled from the localities they had been occupying. Shockingly, he told us that none of his complaints were paid heed to and what was worse was that the menace of the Bangladeshis had gained even stronger grounds and the lives of residents was becoming hell.
Till now, the complainant has written more than 222 emails, over the span of three years to the NMMC or the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation but all the authorities have done is to forward his emails from one officer to the other. This has become a relay race with the baton being passed on but the race seems to be never-ending, without a finish-line. The chain of authorities starts right from the Chief Minister, Uddhav Thackeray’s office; the Principal Advisor to the CM, Sitaram Kunte; the Principal Secretary Home (special), Sanjay Saxena; Principal Secretary Urban Development, Mahesh Pathak; the Joint Secretary Urban Development, Kailash Badhan; the Under Secretary, Navnath Wath; the NMMC Commissioner, Abhijit Bangar; the Deputy Commissioners among whom is Amarish Patinigire, who was earlier arrested for making money out of such illegal settlements; to the Ward Officer, Subodh Thanekar.
It was proven that even the police were working in connivance with the authorities when the complainant got to know the fact that even they were aware of the encroachments but had failed to take an action. Additionally, in order to steer clear of the matter, the NMMC authorities incessantly try to put the onus on CIDCO, which happens to own one of the plots on which the Bangladeshis have settled but the fact remains that the NMMC could easily penalize CIDCO if they wanted to take stern action as it has the power to do so.
Bangladeshi men, women and kids visible in the video shot.
“In December, 2021, the NMMC had tried its hands at a façade of an expulsion of the illegal immigrants wherein they pretended to get rid of them but to the shock of everyone, they were back at the settlement after merely five or six hours had passed; the other two plots remained untouched”, the complainant told Goa Chronicle.
At this point, the Bangladeshis’ very own home in Sanapada is witnessing a population boom with their kids being born and sometimes, naive locals, considering them to be underprivileged, help them with food and clothing, which is fanning their confidence.
The only question which arises at this point in time is that why cannot the authorities act when they have the power and prerogatives to do so? It is clearly not because they do not have the means to; then is it because they do not want to? What ulterior motives are stopping them from expelling people who are not ours and are a potential massive danger to not only the security of Navi Mumbai but all of India? The question is to be asked to Abhijit Bangar as to what is making him look the other way while Navi Mumbai is becoming a breeding ground for terrorists as out of many such illegal slums, many terrorists have been nabbed in the past. Why can’t you, Mr. Bangar, address the elephant in the room and prove that you being the NMMC Commissioner; is not in vain?
Drunken Bangladeshis creating a ruckus. Can be seen going into the settlements on the plot crossing the fences at the end.
[author title=”Sonakshi Datta” image=”http://goachronicle.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/02/1611662085753.jpg”]Journalist, Goa Chronicle
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