The house on Road No. 2 in Sonari’s West Layout is pulled down on Sunday morning . Pictures by Bhola Prasad
A double-storey building in Sonari’s West Layout — the ownership of which is being debated in city civil court — was demolished by a city builder in the presence of police on Sunday morning.
Armed with his 100-odd henchmen and an excavator, and escorted by a team of Sonari police, builder Abhay Kumar Nayak descended on the Road No. 2 house around 7.30am.
The army of local toughies forced businessman B.P. Sharma and his family of five out and pulled down the structure by 12.30pm. They arguably allowed little time to the residents to produce papers that confirmed that they had power of attorney to a portion of the property and that the matter was sub judice.
Sharma claimed he pleaded with Nayak, Sonari OC N.K. Ram as well as circle inspector Shashi Bhusan, who were all present at the spot, but failed to get patient hearing.
“I repeatedly told them that a portion of the house belongs to me and the case is sub judice, but the builder and the police officers paid no heed,” Sharma said, adding that the “high-handedness” had left his elderly mother, wife and three children — aged 11, 6 and three — homeless.
According to Sharma, the house belonged to one late N.C. Ghosh. Since he had no children, he left the property to his three nephews — Shyamal, Kamal and Amal Ghosh.
“Shyamal Ghosh, who lives in Purulia, Bengal, rented us a portion of the house 10 years ago. Subsequently, Shyamal agreed to sell the two rooms where we were staying, along with a bathroom and kitchen, for a consideration amount of Rs 12 lakh. I paid the money and acquired power of attorney over the portion of the house,” Sharma said.
However, Kamal disputed his brother’s decision, which prompted Sharma to file a suit with Jamshedpur civil court, staking his claim to a part of the house. “But, in the meantime, Kamal and Amal may have struck a deal with the builder for Rs 13 lakh. And today, they had the entire house demolished,” the businessman added.
Sonari OC sub-inspector Ram reasoned that they thought the builder had bought the entire house from the brothers because Sharma could not produce relevant papers on time. “We demanded that he (Sharma) produce documents to verify his claim, but he could not,” Ram said.
Sharma claimed that he had kept the important papers at a relative’s house and by the time he returned with them, his family’s shelter had been razed to the ground.
Ram confirmed that they had seen the documents — power of attorney and case papers — later, but said they were yet to lodge an FIR against the builder. “We have asked Sharma to submit a copy of the papers and then lodge a complaint so that we may make enquiries at the circle office or Tata land lease office. But, he is yet to follow the directive,” he said.
When confronted, DSP (headquarters-II) Rajkishore Prasad said he would probe the matter and see to it that justice is done.
SSP Akhilesh Kumar Jha admitted that the matter had been brought to his notice too.
“Initially, Sharma could not produce any document. So, I had asked Sonari police to do what is legal. If the aggrieved party feels that injustice has been done, he may lodge an FIR. I will get the matter probed and take necessary action against the builder and policemen concerned,” Jha said.
Sharma maintained that he had lost faith in police and would file a complaint case in court. “Let the court decide. I will not lodge an FIR,” he said.