“No sooner did I tell my name, I was told to my face that they did not sell houses to Muslims”
BHOPAL – A Muslim woman, who was set to buy a flat, was allegedly given a “No” from flat owner only because she was a Muslim.
Owners of a Hindu-majority residential complex on Bhopal’s Hoshangabad road seem to have gone beyond the lines of discrimination.
Khan has a recording of their conversation as a proof. She has decided to approach authorities claiming discrimination.
“It is a good housing society that had all the amenities. When I went to the place, they showed us the flats and the entire campus. It all went on well till we were close to finalising the deal. They asked my name,” Khan told HuffPost India.
“No sooner did I tell my name, I was told to my face that they did not sell houses to Muslims,” she said.
She tried again but to her utter shock she was told the same thing. Her husband Mazhar Khan is a local businessman.
“Friends and relatives often told us that these things happen in housing societies but now it has happened to us. The experience has shaken me. I really want to fight, raise the issue with authorities because this is going to affect everyone, our future generations,” she said.
Khan has filed a complaint with the Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission. “This is social boycott, keeping Muslims out of new colonies,” she alleged.
However, Rajendra Singh, an official of the Meenakshi Planet City, the housing complex, said that although most of the residents in the society are Hindus, there is no religious discrimination. The official displayed helplessness when asked why Khan was rejected as a buyer.
“Zahida Khan and her husband had come to buy the house. We have some houses that have already been sold but owners live outside the city and let out houses on rent. She also inquired about getting house on rent in the society and when I spoke to the owner of the house, he refused to give the house to them and naturally I can’t force him to give his house if he doesn’t want to rent it out to someone,” he said.
“But we don’t discriminate on religious grounds,” he insisted.
In her complaint, Zahida has mentioned that this is a form of social boycott that amounts to keeping Muslims ghettoed in certain areas of the city.
“Don’t we have the right to stay in newly developed areas and colonies that have good civic amenities? How can private builders do it selectively, targeting entire population,” she asked, adding that, “I feel it is a gross violation of our fundamental rights.”