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Thane builders accused of cheating slumdwellers

Three cases of cheating have been registered against Thane builders Ganesh Wagh (33) and his brother Mahesh (30).

mumbai Updated: May 18, 2010 01:29 IST
Susamma Kurian
Susamma Kurian
Hindustan Times

Three cases of cheating have been registered against Thane builders Ganesh Wagh (33) and his brother Mahesh (30).

The police claim the builders had bought the slum area in Raghunathnagar and promised the residents flats or shops in the buildings developed on the land.

“The three complainants had paid Rs 15 lakh each but neither got the property nor their money back. We haven’t arrested the Waghs as they have been granted anticipatory bail by the Thane court until May 31,” said Inspector S.G. Jawle, of the Wagle Estate police station.

But Mahesh claims they have been framed.

“These are all false charges. It is the handiwork of encounter specialist Ravindra Angre, who wants to take revenge. So many people have told us that they are being pressured by Angre to file complaints against us.”

Angre had been arrested on February 22, 2008, after Ganesh had filed a complaint of extortion and assault against him at the Naupada police station.

Angre was then deputy superintendent of police in Pune.

Ganesh had alleged that Angre had threatened him at gunpoint, forced him to transfer shares in his wife Dhanashree’s name, and took his Scorpio and Santro. Angre was released on bail a year later.

Complainant Sunil Pal (30) claimed the Waghs had promised to give him a shop in 2004, but sold it off to someone else. “They said they will be give me a shop elsewhere, but I haven’t got it yet.”

Sunil’s brother Ashok (38) said: “After the Waghs bought the chawls, where we had two rooms, they promised us two flats in the buildings that would come up there. They gave us flats on the 10th floor though they had permission to build up to eight floors.”

The complainants had first approached Congress leader Jagdish Pandey for help. Pandey claimed that the police initially did not register a complaint and it was finally lodged after he met State Home Minister RR Patil.

“The Waghs have committed a fraud of nearly Rs 28 crore. Of the 337 slumdwellers at Raghunathnagar, only 240 got flats. The rest are living on rent or on the streets. The Waghs couldn’t construct more buildings as they had used the floor space index on the two other buildings,” he claimed.

First Published: May 18, 2010 01:27 IST