It’s a tussle between a landlord and a tenant. But the tenant is an entire Goan village.
The flat in question — known as a kudd in Goan, a kind of a club where Goans can stay by paying very little — is a 1,000-sq ft tenanted property in Karkaria building near Dhobi Talao in Mazgaon. The tenant is a village called Parra.
Felix Desa, manager of the kudd and assistant manager, Camilo Mendes, had gone to Goa on holiday in December.
When they returned a month later, they found that two guests, Anthony and Lawrence Fernandes, had reportedly surrendered their rights as tenants to the landlady, who in turn had sold the flat to a builder, Nooshir Anklesaria of Bombay Paxiwell Private Limited.
“The two guests got Rs 10 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh respectively, and are now absconding,” said Desa. “We were shocked to find all our trunks in the passageway and two security guards refused to let us in.” The loss, Desa said, was not just personal but of the whole village. “We are answerable to them.”
The landlady, 80-year-old Maniben Karkaria, however, said: “These fellows are trying to grab my property after having surrendered the rights to me. There is no hanky panky involved because it was done in the presence of a solicitor and other witnesses.”
She alleged she was being threatened.
Meanwhile, Desa and Mendes have managed to register a complaint. “A complaint was registered at the Azad Maidan police station after a lot of effort,” said Desa. “The case is a civil matter and we are doing a preliminary inquiry,” said Senior Police Inpsector Prakash Sishupal.
Anklesaria refused to comment, saying all questions should be addressed to Karkaria. “Kudds are more like transit camps where Goans can stay for as little as Rs 80 per month when they are working or looking for jobs in Mumbai,” explained Abraham Mathai of the state minorities commission. “Many of these kudds in the city are now disappearing thanks to the builder mafia.”
There were around 340 kudds in Mumbai earlier; only 210 exist now, he said.
“Parra will soon hold a meeting in the village church to determine what needs to be done,” said Desa.