Friday, July 31, 2009

Emraan Hashmi can't get a house in Mumbai

Updated on : Friday, July 31, 2009

MUMBAI: Being an A-lister in Bollywood can't get one past religious profiling and discrimination in Mumbai's Beverly Hills. Bollywood actor Emran Hashmi has just learned this.

Out to buy an apartment in an area close to where his parents live, the actor was politely told by Pali Hill's Nibbana Cooperative Society to go and look elsewhere. The actor believes the housing society is discriminating against him because he is a Muslim. He has filed a complaint with the State Minorities' Commission, demanding action against society members.

Commission vice-chairman Abraham Mathai told media that Hashmi had filed a complaint, saying the society had refused to give him a no-objection certificate even after he had paid the token amount of Rs 1 lakh. "We are sending summons to the society, asking for an explanation," Mathai said.

"My parents went to meet society members last week for the NoC along with the seller and the broker. Society members, however, told them they were busy and refused to meet them. I found it really offensive," said Hashmi.

"The seller, Suvarna, has now informed us that the society will not give us an NOC and it has blocked the sale. We have information that this has been done as they are discriminating against Muslims and will not allow any Muslim in the society." The society had mostly Hindus and a couple of Catholic families, Hashmi said.

This is not the first time Hashmi has faced such a problem. "I faced a similar situation in August 2007, when I was looking for a house in the same area; residents and brokers told me I would not be able to get a house because I was a Muslim. But I later managed to get one," he told media.

Hashmi's family has been living in Pali Hill for the last 50 years. "All the big names of Bollywood live in the area. Dilip Kumar, Nargis and Aamir Khan live here. So do the Dutts (Sanjay and his kin). But we still face such problems," he regretted.

Hashmi's uncle, filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, said he was appalled that this was happening in an area like Pali Hill.

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