Me too Mumbaikar

Updated on Feb 13, 2008 04:12 AM IST

In the wake of Raj Thackeray's campaign against north Indians there has been a rise in the number of applications seeking domicile in Mumbai, reports Kinjal Dagli.

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Hindustan Times | ByKinjal Dagli, Mumbai

Shobhana Kapadia, 52, has directed her three children to immediately procure domicile certificates from the Bandra sessions court.

The Kandivli resident's decision is triggered by Raj Thackeray's campaign against north Indians. You need to live in Maharashtra for 15 continuous years to get a domicile.

"Today, they (MNS workers) are beating up north Indians, tomorrow it might be Gujaratis, though they haven't targeted us yet," said Kapadia, who was born in Rajula — a city in Gujarat's Amreli district— but has been brought up here.

There seem to be many more like her. The court registrar's office has seen a sharp spurt in applications.

"Usually, we get 10-15 applications a day. Now we are getting 50 applications on some days," said RG Naik, registrar at the Bandra sessions court. He, however, did not comment on whether this was because of the political situation in the city.

Advocate at the court BK Singh also felt ethnic insecurity could lead non-Maharashtrians to apply for domicile.

"It's just been a week. The volume of applications could go up substantially in the coming days," he said.

Almost all application forms stacking up on Naik's desk have non-Maharashtrian surnames — Amin, Ligam, Shaikh, Khona, Lakha, Poojari, Bhatia and Bhat among others.

PV Nallaswamy, a resident of Kalina, walked in to apply for a domicile certificate for his 17-year-old daughter but decided to get one for his wife as well.

"I feel it's safer for everyone to have it. And if it has the added benefit of protecting you from the tirade against non-Maharashtrians, why not," he said.

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