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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

120-year-old cross demolished: Mumbai residents to file criminal complaint  

Residents said the cross was legal and was on private property of the owner

mumbai Updated: Jul 29, 2017 01:05 IST
Geetanjali Gurlhosur
Geetanjali Gurlhosur
Hindustan Times
(Photo for representation)

Three months after the BMC demolished a contentious 120-year-old cross on D’monte Street in Bandra (West), residents and Catholic groups said they will file a criminal complaint against the assistant municipal commissioner Sharad Ughade and two engineers of the ward office.

Savio Gonsalves, who lives opposite the shrine, has been the caretaker for 35 years.

“It was shocking to see the BMC take the cross down. We got to know about the BMC’s plan a night before and we could not do anything,” said Gonsalves.

On April 29, the BMC demolished the D’monte cross.

The Catholic community staged a protest on May 3 outside the ward office. Residents said the cross was legal and was on private property of the owner.

READ: Illegal shed over grotto demolished in Chakala

Godfrey Pimenta, trustee of NGO Watchdog Foundation, said, “The BMC had wrongly marked the cross as category B structure. We took the case to court and till now, the BMC has not produced the affidavit in court.”

Rita D’sa, head of Bombay Catholic Sabha, said the next hearing for the case in the high court is on August 21. “We want the BMC to reinstate the cross. The criminal charge-sheet is for wrongly marking the shrine and demolishing it,” said D’sa.

Ughade told HT, “The cross was under category B in the 2011 list. We have taken action as per the court order.” Officials added that the cross cannot be reinstated.

Of the 38 illegal shrines in Bandra West, only one cross has been demolished. The ward office razed close to four illegal temples on Thursday.

First Published: Jul 29, 2017 01:05 IST