Social Activist Narendra Nayak narrates story of crying aged couples awaiting for justice in Mangaluru City

Udayavani, 16-02-2017 12:21:24

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Social Activist Narendra Nayak narrates story of crying aged couples awaiting for justice in Mangaluru City

Mangaluru: The house in this picture looks like a house of cards or a set of match boxes stacked over each other. Welcome to the empire of senior citizen Vittal Shenoy and his wife Gayathri Shenoy located near Mahamaya Temple, Car Street in Mangaluru city.

The lower most of the stack is the tea shop run by his son in law, while 75 year old Shenoy and his wife occupy the rest of the building. Why it is so small is the story of his struggle shows how a senior citizen is treated and has to struggle for justice. Even after winning his case in the court has to face threats from underground dons!

Shenoy had purchased a tiny piece of land measuring around 450 sq feet with a mud house way back in 1989 from the owners for a consideration of Rs.59, 000 and had opened a small shop too. That time itself he had been facing harassment from the owners of the plot behind the structure who wanted to see him out. But nothing serious had happened till 2002 when he had gone away with his son to Bengaluru. The compound wall was demolished as Shivanand Bhat and Vittal Bhat who had started the construction of a flat called Mahamaya Sannidhi behind his house.

He wanted to rebuild the compound wall and for that he had to initiate a legal process which took a decade for a verdict but was released an order in his favor.  But, when the opposite party moved on appeal it took years for the decision which was finally in favor of Shenoy in 2016 who wanted to rebuild the wall. In the mean while from 2009 -12 a road widening project was initiated and to save the property of temple on the opposite side of road half the small area of the plot belonging him was taken over and the building was extended upwards by the city  corporation  at public expense  which gave it the present stacked cubes look!

Despite of the court orders the police refused to give protection to Shenoy to rebuild the compound wall. So, finally he built the wall after a gap of nearly a year with the intervention of the local MLA JR Lobo who instructed the police to provide him protection. So, the wall was finally built!

But if you think Shenoy’s troubles are over you are wrong. The opposite parties in the case threatened him with dire consequences. He was warned that on the way to buy milk which he does early morning, a vehicle could crash into him and bump him off. A few days ago a mean looking underground toughie came in the evening and threatened him that a contract has been given to one Vijay to finish him off.

He was also threatened by an engineer of Mangalore City Corporation to stop the work. When this matter was verified from him the engineer said that the objection was not to the compound wall but to the structure which he as putting up within its limits. But, when he was asked as to whether he would put his contention in writing he said yes but Shenoy is yet to receive it.

The aged couples who live in fear of their lives have complained to the Bunder police station about it and are hoping for action from their end. Will they get justice? Will they get protection? With the anxiety writ large on their faces, the couple looks out from the gate of the home they built for their peaceful retired life!

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