The ongoing investigation into the alleged forgery case of Ganeshkripa society at Golibar Road in Khar notwithstanding, the suburban collector's office demolished 11 houses in the society on Thursday.
"Earlier, we could not carry out demolitions due to the lack of police protection owing to the World Cup and board exams. As we got the police protection now, we will demolish 72 structures by Friday. We haven't received any stay order from the chief minister," said P Rokde, deputy collector, removal and encroachment.
Rokde said the action is being taken as per the order issued by the Bombay high court (HC) in September last year.
Twelve residents of the society were detained before the demolitions.
"We have detained six men and six women who objected to the demolition. We have not yet decided on when they can be released," said senior police inspector Prashant Bagade. In the scuffle that ensued, Sunita Gurav, 45, suffered a head injury and received four stitches.
The residents of the society had alleged that developer Shivalik Ventures and the committee members forged the signatures of several residents to prove consent for redevelopment.
On February 2, the HC had ordered the Nirmal Nagar police to record the statements of the 250 residents and investigate the case. Police officials were asked to submit the statements of the residents within 15 days. But according to Bagade, only 100 statements were recorded then. Further investigations are still on.
"The HC had ordered eviction and not demolition after making a proper agreement and providing transit accommodation. But demolitions are being carried out without taking the HC order into consideration. Forgery investigations have not led to any conclusion. So far, only 37 statements of residents have been submitted in the court," said Vijay Thakur, lawyer of Ganeshkripa society residents.
The residents and their lawyer allege that the authorities have deliberately chosen the month of May as authorities such as court and Mantralaya are not completely functional during this period.
"They are demolishing the structures on the basis of an old order during the vacation period, as they know it would be difficult to stop demolition," said Thakur.