Clarification To Article Published In Parsi Junction Regarding Rajkot Anjuman Properties
In the interest of promoting transparency and clearing the misconceptions created by the above article against me and the FPZAI, I earnestly request you to please publish my clarification.
On 5th September, 2020 Parsi Junction leaflet has published an article with the title, ‘SAM CHOTHIA UP TO HIS OLD TRICKS TO SELL RAJKOT ARAMGAH’, which seeks to malign my name and bring it into disrepute by way of half-truths, lies and baseless allegations. This type of yellow reporting also maligns FPZAI and brings obstruction in the functioning of FPZAI.
I would like to clarify that Rajkot Scheme was filed in 2011, during the tenure of Dinshaw Mehta, the then Ex-officio President of FPZAI and Ex-CEO of FPZAI Sorabji Katpitia, through Jimmy Bachha and late Cyrus Nagaomwala. The first proposed trustees to be were: 1. Dinshaw Mehta; 2. Arnawaz Mistry; 3. Muncherji Cama; 4. Mehli Colah; and 5. Parvez Mehta.
I was elected as Vice President of West Zone-B (Gujarat Anjumans) in 2014 and appointed as CEO of Defunct Anjuman Committee (DAC) in 2016. So, I have nothing to do with the drafting of the scheme and the appointing of First Trustees.
The advocate, Mr. Vyas who’s mentioned about, the one being escorted by a Muslim to a car, is presently not the advocate of the FPZAI. Advocate Mihir Trivedi of Rajkot is appearing for FPZAI since September 2019. Earlier, Advocate Bakimchandra Vyas from Dist. Anand was appearing before the Charity Commissioner of Rajkot.
Mr. Dinshaw Mehta and Mr. Soli Katpitia had appointed advocate Mr. Vyas for Godhara, Deesha and Khambhatt. Over time, it was observed that Advocate Mr. Vyas had an eye on the community properties, particularly that of Rajkot. I informed FPZAI office bearers that we needed to change the advocate. In August 2019, I had informed Advocate Vyas not to appear for FPZAI in any matter and after getting approval from all the DAC members, I had appointed Advocate Mihir Trivedi of Rajkot to appear before Rajkot Charity Commissioner, on behalf of the FPZAI, in September 2019. Applicant Cyrus Nagaomwalla signed the Vakalatnama for advocate Trivedi but first applicant Mr. Bachha did not sign the Vakalatnama and hence Adv. Mr. Vyas is still appearing for Jimmy Bachha. Mr. Bachha was on pay roll of the FPZAI and had assisted Sohrabji Katpitia at that time. FPZAI is taking steps in this regard.
Substantial Community properties, worth crores of rupees, in small towns and rural areas where there are few Parsis or even no Parsis left, are already or almost lost to the community through encroachment, lack of updated records, etc. FPZAI faces an uphill task of safeguarding these from further encroachments from land mafias, slum lords, and builder lobbies, with the help of local Anjumans.
The functioning of the DAC is transparent and all BPP trustees, who are also members of the DAC, are fully aware of its functioning. Unfortunately, privileged and confidential information is leaked and lands in the hands of individuals who then use it to twist facts, which are really prevalent at site and thus, try to stir up community sentiments. Community activism is just a facade and the real intent is to derail the work done by FPZAI. In small towns where properties lying unattended, the same is open to encroachment as no Parsis are living there. The community hence is losing its properties to this unauthorised encroachment by the land mafia.
Never once have Khushru and Rayomand Zaiwalla voluntarily come forward to physically go to these towns and cities and villages and try and take steps to stop the encroachments. Nor have they ever volunteered to come forth and assist the community in our hour of need. They find it safer to be brave and be a critic from the safe confines of their homes. After all, most are brave from a distance.
FPZAI is committed to protecting the community properties AND THE INTEREST OF INDIVIDUAL PARSIS at the Anjuman level throughout India and the office bearers are putting in their sweat and toil.
I would like the father-son duo to refrain from being a mouth piece and would exhort them to leave the confines of their home and travel to all the places where precious community properties are located, confront the encroachers, land mafias, attend hearings before the competent authorities and show the Community that they truly care, not merely by their word but also by their deeds and action.
Sam R. Chothia
CEO, FPZAI – Defunct Anjuman Committee
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