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Zoru Bhathena who campaigned against decision to cut trees at Aarey, caught up in ugly property dispute with father

As Darayus Bhathena lands up at police station with injuries, his son says the wounds are self-inflicted and files a counter complaint, saying his father’s motive is the family bungalow.

Article by Vinay Dalvi | Mumbai Mirror

Environmental activist Zoru Bhathena, 44, who campaigned against the previous government’s decision to hack trees at Aarey Colony for a Metro car shed, has been accused of assault by his father Darayus Bhathena, the rally racing legend and member of the Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India. Darayus Bhathena, 81, approached the Santacruz police, claiming his son assaulted him on Tuesday afternoon over a property dispute. The police have registered a non-cognizable complaint (NC) against Zoru Bhathena, who has filed a counter complaint against his father.

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(Far left) Zoru Bhathena and his mother Kathie; (left) Darayus Bhathena shows the injuries he sustained to his arms and legs

According to the police Darayus Bhatena, who claims to live at Mehrabad, Juhu-Koliwada, alleged that his son pushed and assaulted him during a dispute over the bungalow. “We have registered a non-cognizable offence against Zoru Bhathena for voluntarily causing hurt,” said a police official at Santacruz police station.

Showing us his wounds at his the office of his lawyer Suresh Chandrashekar, Darayus Bhathena told Mirror, “On Tuesday afternoon Zoru, who lives in Khar, came to the bungalow and assaulted me. He pushed me, due to which I suffered injuries on my right arm, right leg and back. My sons are basically behind my property. I own NAT Steel Equipment Private Limited in Dadar East. I am the managing director and chairman of this company, which specializes in hospital equipment, especially sterilizers. Apart from this I own a building in Mahim and this bungalow, in which my wife Kathie is a partner.” He added, “Though he is an activist he is very criminal-minded. I was lucky that I did not break any bones,” said Darayus, who taken to Bhabha Hospital for medical tests, after which the police registered the NC against his son.

In his counter complaint, Zoru Bhatena claimed that it was his father who was trying to claim the bungalow for himself. He said relations between his parents have been strained for the past 20 years and that his father has been living with another woman in Pune and not at the Juhu bungalow, as he claims. He told Mirror, “He barged into the bungalow, where my bedridden mother lives, to get possession of it. I never assaulted him, I just asked him to leave. All the injuries on his body are self-inflicted. He contacted the police several times and they told him clearly that he should move court if he wants the Juhu property.” He added, “I also have CCTV footage in which he can be seen assaulting our dogs too.” He also shared a video of his 80-year-old mother Kathie, in which she said, “Darayus asked us to move out of the house. I don’t want him to come here again.”