A Borivali Builder and Developer has accused Mumbai North West BJP MP Gopal Shetty of allegedly making extortion demands of Rs 5 crore through his henchmen and goons and further making several threatening calls, when he ignored the demand.
He also alleged that Shetty’s goons attacked his vehicle with stones on Friday morning, with an intention to scare him into paying the extortion amount.
The Builder Ramkumar Gupta who has an office in Mira Road, is developing a huge plot of land close to the Dahisar-Borivali Western Express Highway.
On Friday morning some unidentified person threw stones at Gupta’s SUV while he was leaving the plot, damaging the trunk of the vehicle and breaking the rear windshield glass. Suspecting the hand of the MP behind the attack, Gupta approached the Kasturba police station at Borivali East with a written complaint against the MP, but was turned away by the duty officer who reprimanded Gupta for wasting the time of the police with frivolous complaints. The police instructed Gupta to come with “concrete proof” of his allegations.
Gupta then approached this journalist through a common friend and narrated his ordeal to him. He said the Kasturba police officials were very rude to him and acted as though they were on the payroll of the MP.
“How am I to collect evidence. It’s the job of the police to register my complaint and investigate and collect the evidence in the form of call records, CCTV camera recordings, etc. Instead the SHO asked me to collect all the requisite evidence and only then visit the police station,” Gupta told IndiaScoops.com.
According to Gupta, his problems started about six months ago. He had taken over a plot of land about a year ago, for development, which comprises of some old workshops and shanties adjacent to the Western Express Highway.
The 5-10 odd resident families have been living there for over 20-25 years and have full re-development rights. He put up a board in May this year and began preparing the plans, paperwork and documentation to start work on the project.
Another builder who is developing a neighboring plot and is associated with the BJP MP wanted Gupta to join hands with him, but Gupta refused. It seems the rival builder and the MP could have teamed up against Gupta with a view to derail his project.
However, as soon as his notice board was put up, some thugs approached him and asked him to meet the MP in his office immediately regarding the project. Gupta accordingly sent someone on his behalf to meet the MP in his office. The MP was furious that Gupta did not come to meet him personally and did not entertain his emissary, but abused him in very filthy language.
The BJP MP conveyed to me through a third party that I must work together with another builder who is close to him, but I didn’t want to join hands with the other developer, Gupta said.
“Later on the MP’s thugs and goons started harassing and threatening me with dire consequences if I did not pay Rs 5 crore as protection money. They claimed some locals had approached the MP with complaints against the builder and threatened to file a police complaint against him for trespassing and land grabbing, besides trying to illegally evict the locals residing on the plot,” Gupta told IndiaScoops.com.
Though Shetty was not available personally for comment, the MP’s office denied the allegations and termed them politically motivated.
A spokesperson for Gopal Shetty said they had never heard of any developer by the name of Ramkumar Gupta and never spoke to him. No one by that name ever came to meet us, Shetty’s office said.
“If someone else contacted him, claiming to be Gopal Shetty’s PA, we are not responsible. Neither MP Gopal Shetty nor anyone from his office has met Gupta. He must approach the police in this regard, the MP’s representative said,” adding that a rival politician from the Borivali area is instigating people against Gopal Shetty.
Gupta alleges that Shetty wanted to be a partner in the project through a dummy builder, an allegation which is strongly denied by Shetty’s team.
However, Gupta claims he has proof that he was summoned to the MP’s office and his representative went there on two occasions, but was not allowed to meet the MP. I have received several threatening calls in the last one month. They wanted me to attend the MP’s office in person, which I am not willing to do, he told IndiaScoops.com.
Gupta told IndiaScoops.com he will meet the zonal DCP on Monday and if the police do not take action within 3-4 days after verifying his complaint, he will approach the courts.
MP Gopal Shetty was recently in the eye of a storm, when he stated that Indian Christians did not contribute to India’s freedom struggle, as they were ‘angrez” adding that only Hindus and Muslims played a role in India’s freedom struggle.
“Christians were angrez (British); hence they didn’t participate in India’s freedom struggle. India was not freed by Hindus or Muslims, we fought as one for our independence,” he was caught on video as saying.
Shetty made the controversial remark while addressing a gathering during an Eid-e-Milan program organised by the Shia Kabrastan Committee at Malad’s Malvani.
Two Catholics from Malad have approached the Bombay HC and the Borivali ACMM’s court against Shetty (Read Here) after the Malwani police refused to register an FIR.
Editor’s Note: This is a developing story and will be updated as new inputs come in