Ramzan Hafiz has lived at Nallasopara in Thane, Maharashtra for two decades now. Official documents with the municipality and his ration card call the area Laxmi Nagar. But the state electricity board, he points out, has decided to call it 'Laden Nagar', after slain terrorist Osama Bin Laden.
Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) has named Muslim majority slums after Osama Bin Laden and Pakistan in its bill records and call it 'Laden Nagar'. "When I complained about it to the electricity department, they laughed at me saying that I am Laden," Hafiz said.
Barely few kilometres away from the slum where Hafiz resides is another place which earned the name 'Chhota Pakistan' recently. The name has propagated a dispute between builders and the local police.
"Initially, I did not take it seriously but after the Chhota Pakistan issue came up I felt it could be a conspiracy," Hafiz said. This issue was highlighted by local Congress corporator Chaya Patil who has taken up the issue with the electricity board.
"It is a sheer negligence on the part of the authorities. They have assured that it will be rectified in the next bill," Patil said. The State Minorities Commission too has taken note of this issue, terming it as a serious lapse on the part of the MSEB. While assurances have already been made like before, residents here are hoping that change would be reflected soon.
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