Finding a rental house in the Indian city of Mumbai is no easy task. Millions of people come here every year to raise hopes and dreams and try to decide for housing.
But it is even more difficult for Kashmiris to rent a house here. Many landlords are afraid that if you are a Kashmiri, you may not belong to extremists. And even if someone gives you a home, you can’t sleep in your new home.
Adil Grizzi, a 24-year-old Kashmiri singer, faced similar difficulties recently when he was asked to vacate the house after Article 370 was abolished in Kashmir.
Adil lives in a flat with two of his friends in the dark west area of Mumbai.
He told the BBC that while he was visiting his home in Indian-administered Kashmir, his property agent had written the name of his friend Ajay who was staying with him in the flat instead of the contract. And told them not to let Adil stay there when he returned. Property agent Rashid, however, denied the allegations.
After several days of struggle, Agent Rashid re-entered his name on the request of police officer Ragunath Kadam of Oshiura police station. Adil said he went to his home in Kashmir in April. The situation became tense after the elimination of Article 370 in August.
When he returned to Mumbai on September 3, his friend Ajay told us, ‘We have been told that Adil cannot stay here. You must clear the house immediately. The situation in Kashmir is very bad and the agent has said that he does not want to take any risk.
Adil said he thought the matter would cool down in two to four days, but that did not happen. Two days later, Agent Rashid’s phone was called, and he was asked to evacuate again. Adil said his friend Ajay was told that if they kept Adil in the house illegally, they might have to leave the house too.Failure to find another residence for a few days, Adil decided to return to Kashmir. But before leaving, on September 7, Adil posted a story on Instagram about his experience. As soon as this story was posted, supportive messages from his fans began to be posted.
The next day, Adil got a call from Inspector Raghunath Kadam from the Oshiura police station in Mumbai.
Adil said, ‘I am very thankful to the Mumbai police for helping me through this difficult time.
Adil says Rashid added Adil’s name back to the contract and apologized to him after Mumbai police asked.
Police official Raghunath Kadam told the BBC that the property agent apologized for the move after police intervened. He said that the property agent could not give any valid reason to evacuate Adil and he told the police that Adil had gone home, we did not know whether he would return.
However, Property Agent Rashid rejected the allegations of Adil and told the BBC that property agents in Mumbai do not rent a house without any confirmation from the police. Adil did not submit a police certification certificate about himself. However, according to Adil, he had collected all the papers that he had asked for.
‘It’s not easy to get home’ “I didn’t want to cause trouble for my friends,” Adil said. I started searching for a home, but it was not easy. It was raining heavily in Mumbai these days. Apart from this, renting a house in Mumbai is not an easy task.
‘Many people do not want to give Kashmiris a home even in the ordinary days, then it was a period of bad situation in Kashmir. If one is pleased, you must first generate a ‘New Objection Certificate’. After that a large amount of deposit must be paid.’
‘I didn’t want to be on the road,’ Adil said. If I did not find a home, I had no choice but to return to Kashmir. ‘
He said that because of the way Kashmiri youth is written in the media, it is difficult for us to find a home. People are scared. They say very clearly that we will not give Kashmiris a home.
Adil Grizzi says he writes his own songs and sings them. They have hundreds of fans on YouTube.
He believes that people often worry about Kashmiris renting a house.
He said that it is understandable to some extent that people have such concerns in the backdrop of the ongoing insurgency in Kashmir for many years but not everyone is a terrorist or extremist.