The collapse of a residential building in Mumbai’s suburb Malvani has once again brought to the fore the issue of illegal constructions triggered by demographic change in the area. BJP Mumbai President Mangal Prabhat Lodha called for investigations by the local authorities into illegal construction activities in the area.
The incident that took place on June 9 has brought several issues to the fore that are creating law and order problem in the area as well as posing a threat to the demographic and ecological balance. Continuous exodus of Hindus from Malvani with a simultaneous influx of illegal Bangaldeshi and Rohingya population who are being illegally settled here by powerful politicians is affecting the demography of the area.
Malvani was once a Hindu-dominated area that is now witnessing construction numerous illegal houses as well as harassment of Hindus by illegal Bangladeshi and Rohingya Muslim infiltrators. The minority Hindus are now being forced to move away from Malvani by Islamists whose numbers has risen.
An article by The Organiser points out:
On February 23, 2021, a Dalit Hindu youth was attacked by a mob of 15-20 local goons in Malvani for complaining against a mosque constructed illegally on encroached government land and protesting against the constant eve-teasing and sexual harassment of Hindu girls in the area by the Islamist goons.
Overpopulated Muslim ghetto comprising of poorly constructed multi-storeyed buildings that can collapse anytime now dominates Malvani. The ghetto has not only been constructed on encroached government land but has also become a hub for illegal activities such as gambling, pornography, drug trafficking etc.
Furthermore, those indulging in such illegal and anti-social activities also receive political patronage. Cabinet Minister in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government, Aslam Sheikh represents the Malad West constituency within which Malvani falls.
How demographic changes is affecting lives of Hindus is apparent from an incident that took place in January this year when Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) Karyakaratas (workers) were arrested for putting up a banner of Prabhu Shri Ram in the Malvani area of Malad suburb, Mumbai during the fund collection drive for the Sri Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The police apparently cited the banners being ‘controversial’ and ‘hurting sentiments’ of the locals in the Muslim-dominated Malvani area where the incident took place as the reason for bringing them down.
In addition to triggering demographic changes, the illegal settlements are also affecting the delicate ecological balance of the area. A committee appointed by the Mumbai High Court for preservation of mangroves in the Konkan region, stated in its report that Mumbai had lost around 22 hectares of mangroves between 2013 and 2018.
The committee also alleged that debris was being dumped across a 14.2-hectare patch opposite the Indian Navy Station, Hamla, Marve Road in Malad West and across 6.25-hectare patches behind Evershine Nagar in Malad West
The issue of Hindu exodus from Malvani was raised in the Maharashtra Assembly in March this year by Mangal Prabhat Lodha. He further pointed out that a concerted attempt is being made to drive Hindus away from the Malad-Malvani area.
Lodha said “Just like Kashmir, Kairana witnessed the exodus of Hindus, Malvani in Mumbai is also witnessing the same. If you look at the Vidhan Sabha voters list in Malad-Malvani region, the number of Hindu voters have reduced by about 15,000 while the Muslim voters have risen by 12,000.”
(Featured Image Source: Mangal Prabha Lodha Twitter Page)
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