THE Mumbra police have arrested a 32-year-old man for allegedly trying to set his neighbour’s house on fire using kerosene. The police said that this was not the first time that the accused attempted arson, and that he has been harassing them as he wants them to vacate their house so that he can buy it.
According to the Mumbra police, the accused, Shabbir Khalil Zariwala (32), is a resident of the Burhani building in Jeevan Baug, Mumbra.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I) Ashok Dudhe said, “Zariwala tried to burn the flat where Abdul Majid Patel (45), a cable operator, stays with his family in the early hours of Wednesday morning. We arrested him within a few hours of the crime and charged him under Section 436 ( Mischief by fire or explosive substance with intent to destroy house) of the Indian Penal Code.”
The Patel family said that this was the fifth such attempt by Zariwala and that they had even installed closed circuit television cameras (CCTV) outside their house due to his continued harassment.
“The smell and smoke alerted me and I woke my father. We looked at the CCTV footage and saw Zariwala in it, after which we immediately called the the police,” said Patel’s son Suleman.
An officer with the Mumbra Police said, “The Patel family shifted to the Burhani building nine years ago. Their neighbours have told us that Zariwala wanted to buy the flat that they were staying in but they were not willing to sell it. Zariwala was upset over this and has been harassing the Patel family for the last three years. He has also tried to burn down their house using petrol or kerosene in the past.”