On Wednesday at 3.30 pm, Vakola resident Aazam Hasrat Sayeed climbed to the fifth floor of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) building in Bandra (East) to meet the Deputy Director of Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA). But after waiting for an hour his request was refused, yet again.
Frustrated, the unemployed 38-year-old slashed his arms, legs and neck with a blade outside Deputy Director of SRA Debashish Chakraborthy’s office. Sayeed fainted and the SRA officials informed the police in the building, who rushed him to Gurunanak Hospital in Kherwadi.
For four years, Sayeed has been making the rounds of SRA office to find out why was his room was allotted to someone else, to no avail. According to Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone VIII) RN Tadvi, when Sayeed could not meet Chakraborthy again, he took the drastic step.
"I was carrying a blade. I had decided that if the deputy director does not meet me today I will commit suicide outside his office," said Syeed, who is now out of danger.
"For four years I have been making rounds of the SRA office trying to get an answer as to why was my room allotted to someone else, but the officers never bothered to meet me," he claimed. "I was also told that nothing could be done and I should approach the court. Now, I have no place to keep my widow mother and three children."
A resident of Kandwa slum near Kalina Church, Sayeed claims that he owns a room, which was redeveloped under the SRA’s Gruhanirman Santha Scheme.
However, after redevelopment Sayeed, who was supposed to get a flat, found that it had been allotted to someone else and he was considered ineligible for the claim. Further, despite repeated attempts, no SRA official was ready to meet him and listen to his grievance.
However, Chakraborthy claims that they have sat Sayeed down and explained the situation to him. "As per the SRA scheme, Sayeed’s father Munshi was allotted a flat in the Kadwa slums but in the course of the redevelopment he passed away. We wrote to Sayeed that to become the legal heir he had to produce some documents, which he failed to. It is only a matter to transfer the allotment from his father to his name," he said, adding: "Sayeed must be mentally disturbed to take such a step."
Tadvi said: "If Sayeed’s suicide attempt is superficial we will take action against him."