Sara Sahara case: witness demands Rs 20 lakh for lost hutment

A witness in the Sara Sahara case and a partner in the development of the complex on Thursday accused each other of harassment during a press conference at the Marathi Patrakar Sangh.

Written by Express News Service | Mumbai | Published: February 20, 2009 2:39 am

A witness in the Sara Sahara case and a partner in the development of the complex on Thursday accused each other of harassment during a press conference at the Marathi Patrakar Sangh.

Farida Sheikh,who used to live in one of the slums cleared for the shopping complex,claimed that after she was made a witness in the case one Sharif Baghban,a partner in the development of the complex,harassed her.

Baghban on the other hand claimed that Farida and two other ladies are harassing him for a large sum of money.

He said that they demanded Rs 20 lakh for the hutment which was cleared for the shopping complex despite accepting Rs 4 lakh when the complex was being built. Farida further said that Baghban is linked to D gang. “We are being harassed and have nowhere to go. They are all men of Dawood,” said Farida Sheikh who stormed out of the press conference and soon collapsed at the foot of the steps leading to the Marathi Patrakar Sangh.

“While she was a witness she was protected by the police but after deposing she is no longer protected,” said one Rehmatbi Khan who was with Farida.

Mobin Solkar,Farida’s advocate,said,“I am only representing her in the High Court against a writ petition by Baghban. If she feels that she is susceptible to any danger then she should certainly receive police protection.”

Baghban on the other hand claimed that she is just after money. “There were around 9 hutments with which I had made a deal and all of them,including Farida,had agreed on Rs 4 lakh. None of them are complaining. In fact we have documents to prove that Farida agreed to the amount. The only reason why she has come before the media is because she wants to use poverty as a plank to get Rs 20 lakh from me,” said Baghban.

While Farida claims to have signed the agreement under duress,Salma Khan,another resident of the hutments said,“We were not pressurised and even Farida had happily accepted the amount.”

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