Sunday, Oct 19, 2003
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India & World
By B. Muralidhar Reddy
A diplomat from the Indian Mission was called to the Foreign Office and given the news. Last week the Indian High Commission had lodged a complaint with the Pakistan Foreign Office.
In the course of this week there were several twists and turns. First, the Karachi police demanded that the mission produce the property documents of the residence of Consulate to enable it to proceed with the investigation.
It was followed by an order of the Sindh High Court directing the maintenance of the "status" till the case came up for further hearing. The court was acting on a petition filed by the person who claimed to have purchased the building from the "original owner".
According to Karachi police, India claimed that the bungalow No. 63 in Clifton was its property. This had been closed since 1992 when the Indian Consulate in Karachi ceased to function. That the property had been encroached upon came to light when the Indian Airlines Manager, Rama Krishna, was passing near 63-Clifton a few days ago and noticed some renovation work being done at the bungalow.
He stopped there and asked people who had ordered the work. He was told that one Baqar Naqvi had purchased the bungalow from Ghulam Hussain Jeeva. Mr. Krishna reported the matter to police and asked them to take action.
Acting on the complaint, police called Baqar Naqvi and asked him for the property documents of the bungalow, the officials said. Mr. Naqvi produced photocopies of the documents with the history record of the bungalow since 1945. He reportedly told police that he recently purchased the property from Ghulam Hussain Jeeva for Rs. 40 million.
Police said he had paid Rs. 2 million as token money. Police counter- checked the documents with the records of the city government and they matched. However, police stopped the renovation work awaiting the receipt of the title documents of the property from the Indian High Commission. It is not for the first time that the bungalow has been sold. It was sold to a local university a couple of years ago. After the university had taken possession of the bungalow, the Indian High Commission came to know about the sale of the property.
The police started an inquiry and the sale was found to be illegal. Four persons were arrested later for fraudulently selling the property.
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