After repeated attempts at negotiating with the residents of Worli's upscale Campa Cola Compound, the civic body called off its eviction drive. This was the second day in a row, when the BMC officials attempted to negotiate with the residents of the illegal flats.

Like on Friday, residents blockaded the entrance to the compound. Pujas and havans continued to be performed. Civic officials, once again, decided not to use force fearing a backlash. "We have tried convincing the residents to vacate their flats. Some of them seem to have understood our stand. We will return on Sunday to initiate our action," said Deputy Municipal commissioner Anand Waghralkar.

Meanwhile, civic officials, on late Friday night approached the Worli police to file an FIR against residents of all the 94 illegal flats. The charges are to be registered under IPC Sections 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty), Section 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), Section 141 (Unlawful assembly), Section 142 (Being member of unlawful assembly), Section 143 (Punishment for unlawful assembly), Section 145 (Joining or continuing in unlawful assembly, knowing it has been commanded to disperse), Section 149 ( Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of common object) and various sections of the Mumbai Police Act.

(Inputs from PTI)

Residents argue that they are being victimised for the fault of the builders and civic officials who colluded in violating rules to build 35 illegal floors many years ago. Renowned singer Lata Mangeshkar also owns a flat in the society. She had also resorted to Twitter a few days ago asking the state government to go soft on residents.

BJP spokesperson Shaina NC who was trying to mediate between the residents and civic officials said the officials had said they’d come back on Sunday. “They said that they would come only to cut gas and electricity supply,” she said.

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