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Parts of SP leader's Mumbai eatery razed

Vijay Singh in Mumbai | January 11, 2005 18:08 IST
Last Updated: January 11, 2005 19:07 IST

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Tuesday demolished a portion of a restaurant 'Koyla' owned by Samajwadi Party leader Abu Asim Azmi's son, Farhan Azmi.

The demolition was part of a drive against illegal constructions all over the metropolis.

Abu Azmi owns two restaurants, Hotel Koyla and Hotel Basilico, in Colaba in south Mumbai, both managed by his son Farhan. They had constructed a toilet and placed some tables and chairs on the terrace of the building housing Hotel Kolya, which the BMC says is illegal.

"There was a small construction on the terrace. The BMC demolished it. We didn't resist. But they targetted my hotel because I am the only person in Mumbai who is opposing the demolition of slums. There are many building and business premises in Mumbai, with illegal constructions. Mine was a small case. They targeted me first to crush my voice against their demolition drive," Abu Asim Azmi said.

The BMC has been demolishing illegal slums (those that came up after January 1, 1995) since the last one month. It has demolished more then 50,000 slums.

Maharashtra Deputy Home Minister R R Patil, who also holds the home department, had asked the BMC not to target poor people alone but also demolish illegal construction by the rich and on commercial premises.

The state government has told the BMC to clear illegal encroachments and not to buckle under pressure from any quarter. Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has gone so far as to warn his ministers not to interfere in the BMC's drive against illegal construction.

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