Sunday, Oct 26, 2014

Mumbai Underground: The wolf of Wadala

Express News Service | Mumbai | Posted: July 7, 2014 4:46 am

Having placed his legal cards before a sessions court, special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam last week argued over the social aspects and implications of lawyer Pallavi Purkayastha’s murder by a security guard in her Wadala flat in 2012. In order to describe the crime committed by Sajjad Mughal, held guilty for the murder, Nikam drew analogies from the animal kingdom.

Nikam compared Mughal to a wolf, which, according to him, epitomises cruelty. “Sajjad is a wolf in the shape of a human. In fact, he is worse than a wolf, which acts on its natural instincts,” Nikam said. The submissions brought back memories of the trial of Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab in the 26/11 terror attack. Nikam, the special public prosecutor in that case as well, had called Kasab a “mad dog” and a “poisonous snake.”

THE UNPALATABLE Rs 5

BJP (Mumbai) chief Ashish Shelar’s remark that the city can provide a wholesome meal for Rs 5 to the poor has become a talking point. Shelar was trying to point out the contrast in the city where the rich and the poor can co-exist. Where the rich can walk into a five-star hotel and spend thousands of rupees on a meal, the poor can get it for Rs 5.

Recently, BJP workers were busy drawing up a chart to show that even a cup of tea on the roadside does not cost less than Rs 12. And a poor man’s meal, vada pav, comes at Rs 10-12. A single roadside vendor’s samosa or a plate of bhajias also cost more than Rs 10. But someone cross-checked and found out that the much touted zhunka bhakar for Re 1, which was promised by the Shiv Sena, was a heavily subsidised scheme. So, many in political circles are wondering if Shelar is expecting some subsidised meal scheme that costs Rs 5.

TROUBLED WATERS

While pictures of rainwater leaking into the recently-launched Mumbai Metro coaches drew  the ire of Mumbaikars, railway officers sought solace, albeit temporarily in the images that went viral online. On July 2, when the city witnessed its first heavy downpour of the season, Metro commuters allegedly posted pictures of water leaking into the trains and described it as a “waterfall”.

While the cause of the water leakage in the Metro was attributed to technical issues and not due to problems in the coach body – unlike suburban railway trains in which the seepage is often of rain water – at least for a day, the suburban railway trains shared the burden of the commuters’ wrath with their shiny, new ‘pals’ on the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar corridor.

WATERING DOWN

The BMC’s water department was under immense pressure over the last two weeks, owing to deliberations over implementing a water cut in the city. The department officials, however, were quick to offer a jibe or two. When asked about the increasing water contamination in the city, a senior official from the department remarked, “There is no water left in the city, how will it get contaminated?”

PROJECT POLITICS

Playing on the perennial discord between continued…

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