Jyotibai says that the local corporator, JM Savitha and her father Mayannagowda, have been harassing her for over a year now regarding a land dispute.

Corporator demolished house sent goons to set me on fire Bengaluru woman alleges
news Crime Saturday, February 03, 2018 - 13:34

“If I had not run away, they would have burnt me and my mother alive,” says 45-year-old Jyotibai, shaken by the turn of events.

Jyotibai says that the local corporator, JM Savitha and her father Mayannagowda have been harassing her for over a year now regarding a land dispute. 

In an unfortunate turn of events, Jyotibai alleges that the Srinagar ward corporator JM Savitha forcibly demolished their home on Friday afternoon and late at night, sent miscreants to set her family on fire.

“There has been a property dispute between the BBMP and our family since 2017. The local corporator Savitha and her father Mayannagowda have been harassing me and my mother for a very long time. There is a corner site in Srinagar, which the BBMP claims belongs to them but the katha is in my mother’s name and we had filed a case with the civil court in 2017,” Jyotibai says.

Jyotibai and her mother Saraswati say that they have lived in their ancestral home located off Srinagar’s 50 feet road, behind PES College, for as long as they can remember. After her father died, Jyotibai has been taking care of her mother and they live in the same house.

She alleges that Savitha and Mayannagowda constantly harassed her for over a year in an attempt to take away her land. “In order to scare us away, Mayannagowda brought some people yesterday (Friday) afternoon, dragged me and my mother out of the house and demolished the building. We were shocked at the level they would stoop to. Even the police refused to help us. Corporator Savitha used to be a constable before she contested for elections and she has the police in her pocket too,” she added.

Distraught over her home being demolished and with nowhere else to go, Jyotibai cleared away some of the debris from the part of her home which still had a semblance of a roof. She then laid a blanket down for her mother to sleep.

“We didn’t know where to go, so we decided to sleep in the demolished site itself. I had calmed my mother down as she had been crying for hours and finally got her to eat a parcel I had brought from the hotel. That’s when I saw three of Mayannagowda’s henchmen coming towards us. We just ran for our lives. When we came back at around 11.45pm, they had set fire to the space where I had laid out the blanket and soon the debris was all on fire,” Jyotibai recounts.

Shaken by the attempt to kill her, Jyotibai called the fire and emergency services and within minutes, the firefighters arrived at the spot.

“The Banashankari Fire Station was informed and they rushed to the spot. The flames were doused within an hour’s time,” an official at the control room said.

Jyotibai says she fears for her life and claims that the Hanumanthanagar police have refused to register a complaint against the corporator.

“I was recording the videos while they were demolishing our house. A woman constable took me to the Hanumanthanagar police station right after the demolition happened in the afternoon. She demanded that I give her my mobile because she wanted to delete the videos. I had shared the videos with some friends so that even if they deleted it I would have copies. When they set fire to our house, I called the police at night and they did not help us,” Jyotibai alleges.

The Hanumanathanagar Police officials, however, told TNM that no such incident had occurred and said they had not received a call about any demolition or fire.

Meanwhile, corporator Savitha has denied all allegations and said that neither she nor her father were involved in any of these incidents.

“There are so many people who belong to the real estate mafia who try to take away government land. The land in dispute, on which Jyotibai had filed a petition with the civil court is actually BBMP land, which was bought from BDA over 25 years ago. I recently received a grant of Rs 10 lakh from BBMP to construct a ward office there. That’s all I have been involved in. I do not know anything about the demolition and I was not responsible for setting anything on fire,” Savitha told TNM.

 

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