Around 13 per cent candidates contesting in the upcoming civic elections hail from a criminal background. This is particularly noticeable in three highly sensitive wards, 130, 131 and 84.
In ward number 130, there are around 25 candidates, most of them with criminal backgrounds. And in some cases where the candidates are clean, it’s their family which is involved in such unwanted activities. Take the case of Maibu Subhan Shaikh (Congress). Some cases of cheating and illegal scrap dealing are registered against his brother Anwar. Then, there is Mustafa Kadri (independent). There are around 4-5 cases against his name.
Moving on to ward number 131, the husband of one of the candidates Noorjahan Rafique Shaikh (SP) has a somewhat record-breaking 15-18 cases against him. Rafique Shaikh’s name features in cases of rioting, cheating and robbery. Earlier, he was also declared ‘absconding’ from the area.
Another candidate from same constituency Rafique Kabir Khan (Rashtriya Ulema Council) has an equally unenviable record. Khan has been involved in illegal parking and black marketing of scrap. Just recently, he was discharged in connection with a murder case.
In Kripashankar Singh’s constituency in Kalina, his close associate Brian Miranda will be up against Naaz Chowdhury in ward number 84. Miranda had been arrested by the anti-extortion cell of the city police with five other gang members for extortion and giving threats to businessmen residing in Vakola, Santacruz and Goregaon, in 1998. That time, his name was also associated with underworld don Chhota Rajan as well, but was later given a clean chit.
When contacted, Radhyshayam Agarwal, Senior Police Inspector, Shivaji Nagar Police Station, assured, “We are taking this election very seriously, and are taking preventive action daily in our constituency.
Till now, no untoward incident has been reported. Everything is going on well, and the public need not bother about the candidates’ records. They came come out on the streets. We will protect them.”
The civic elections for 2,235 seats are to be held on February 16.