The story of Misbah Quadri being forced to vacate a flat in Wadala, Mumbai, for being a Muslim, took a twist when a media report on Friday claimed that it was not her religion but a rift with her broker that resulted in her eviction.
The 25-year-old media professional from Gujarat, who had shifted to Sanghvi Heights in Mumbai in April, was asked to sign a no-objection certificate (NOC) by the broker that would have absolved him, the builder and the flat-owner of any responsibility in case she faced problems for being a Muslim.
She refused to sign the NOC, which led to her vacating the flat within a week of occupying. Two women, who were already staying in the flat, also vacated to express solidarity with her.
The incident was reported as a case of blatant discrimination on religious grounds by the builder, leading to an outrage in the media.
The woman had also claimed that the builder's representative told her that Muslim tenants are not allowed to take flats on rent in the high-rise. Her claim has been found wrong by Mid-Day, which said it has checked and found out that there three Muslim tenants in the building.
The seventh floor of the flat has been given on rent to four girls, of whom one is a Muslim. One of the girls said that the Muslim tenant was never asked to sign any no-objection certificate (NOC).
"We came here this month. Our flatmate Saima Khan found the flat and she was the one who coordinated everything with the broker. We never faced any discrimination, nor did we have to sign any kind of NOC," one of the girls said.
An elderly Muslim couple lives in the ninth floor.
The builder's representative denied Quadri's version for being forced to vacate.
"The girl (Misbah) had come to me with an issue regarding the broker. I tried speaking to the broker, too, who had said that there was some issue related to the documents. No discrimination takes place in the building. We have three flats that are occupied by Muslims," builder's representative in Sanghvi Heights said, according to the daily.
Moreover, the broker had tried to lodge a police complaint against Quadri, apparently for not furnishing necessary documents.
"On April 16, the flat's broker submitted a complaint, which stated that Qadri had not submitted all the required documents and asked us to take the necessary steps," Hindustan Times quoted deputy commissioner of police Kiran Chavan as saying.
Interestingly, Quadri said the broker insisted on the NOC only because she was not influential, unlike the other Muslim tenants. But when the daily wanted to see a copy of the NOC, she could not provide it.