Tulsidas Nair, the man who thinks he has given sleepless nights to former Mumbai Pradesh Congress Committee president and Maharashtra minister of state for home Kripashankar Singh, tells rediff.com that he won't run away from a battle against the powerful politician that began in 1998.
"If I run away they will think that I was always in the wrong," says Nair, 40, as he walks along with his assistant Laxman Pant, a young boy in his late teens, a couple of journalists, and an armed policeman following him. 'They' here include Singh, Nair's landlady Twinder Pal Singh, her son Harmit with whom Nair is locked in a court dispute over possession of a 900 sq ft flat, and all those who, Nair claims, have usurped his properties worth several hundred crores and are now baying for his blood.
He is taking two reporters along to show a disputed plot that is some 700 metres away from his residence, a three-storey building, where he is staying as a tenant of Anand.
"It was only this morning that I have been given armed protection by CP (protection)," Nair points towards a tall, well-built cop who is closely following him.
The Bombay high court on October 25 asked the police to provide protection to Nair and ordered a magisterial inquiry against Singh and certain officer from Vakola police station based on Nair's petition seeking protection from Singh and his 'hitmen'.
Nair alleges that assistant commissioner of police Anil Kharade (Vakola division) and senior inspector RG Pardeshi of Vakola police station, have been serving in their respective positions for seven long years because of Singh's political clout.
Interestingly, last October vacation judge Justice SJ Kathawalla had passed strictures against the two cops mentioned by Nair. "What is happening in your jurisdiction? This is complete lawlessness," Kathawalla had asked Kharade and Pardeshi in response to Nair's petition that said the two cops were acting at the behest of his landlady Twinder Pal Anand to force him to vacate his flat.
Earlier, Twinder Pal Anand along with her son Harmit blocked the way of this correspondent on the way to meet Nair, at the entrance of their building in Vakola, a suburb in North Mumbai.
"I will not let you in," Anand said and stood in front of this correspondent.
When Nair comes downstairs he shows his car that,
he claims, was damaged by Anand and her son. "They abuse me and my cousin sister who stays with me whenever we try to get out of our house. Thanks to the court order last year (the order last October in which Justice Kathawalla of the Bombay HC had restrained Anand from disturbing Nair's possession), we can at least stay in this house," says Nair pointing to his second floor flat in Anand.
The interview with Nair, earlier scheduled inside his house, then commenced on the road, in front of Anand and her son.
Earlier, when she blocked the way towards Nair's apartment, Anand alleged that Nair was a gangster with 18 cases of extortion registered against his name. "He is not even our tenant now. He has forged documents and is forcibly staying in our house," she alleged.
Nair, on his part, in turn alleges that Anand and another lady relative had accused him of tearing their clothes and filed a police complaint against him in Vakola police station. He also claimed that several people living in adjacent and opposite bungalows were gangsters and had pointed machine guns towards him to intimidate him.
"All this is being done by Kripashankar Singh," says Nair as he walks and points towards a couple of bungalows in the vicinity and asks us to accompany him towards a plot which, he alleges, is the chief reason why Singh is trying to 'eliminate' him.
Nair says that Kripashankar Singh had usurped several of his properties located at Vakola, Santacruz and Bandra-Kurla Complex, the value of which today runs into several thousand crores.
Dressed nattily in a white half-sleeved shirt, velvety black trousers and pointed black shoes, Nair doesn't look like a scared man who is under the lens of 'hitmen' as he alleges. What gives you the confidence to walk so bravely when you are under so many threats from so many people?
"Look, the courts in this country are a very powerful and respected institution. It is because of these institutions common people like me get my strength," Nair says.
"What are you doing? At whose instance are you working? Tell whoever they are, they will be in difficulty. I am not mincing words," Justice Kathawalla had reprimanded Kharade and Pardeshi in his judgment last year.
And now that Justices VM Kanade and PD Kode of the Bombay high court have ordered an inquiry by the chief metropolitan magistrate of Bandra court into Nair's petition alleging threats from Kripashankar Singh, Nair feels like a free and relaxed man.
"It's time for Kripashankar Singh to get sleepless nights," he says as he faces the camera of a television channel in front of the disputed plot.
Image: Tulsidas Nair | Photograph by: Prasanna D Zore