By Hitesh Tikoo


The famous Mahatta cafe in Srinagar has been sealed by the Jammu and Kashmir administration amid a property dispute, and for allegedly violating Covid-19 norms.

Mahatta cafe is owned by the Mehta family which has been in Kashmir for about a hundred years spanning three generations. The owners have accused former J&K Finance Minister, Haseeb Drabu, of a land grab attempt.

The cafe was set up by the Mehtas in a joint profit-sharing venture with Haseeb Drabu and his wife, Roohi Nazki, in 2016.

The Mehtas set up ‘Cafe Mahatta’ while Drabu and Nazki set up a tea house, ‘Chai Jaay’.

Sources told IANS that as per the deal, Drabu and Nazki were supposed to give 25 per cent of the profit to the Mehtas, but not a single penny of profit was shared with them ever.

Anita Mehta, owner of Mahatta, told a local news channel that they signed an agreement in 2016 with Ruhi Nazki, when Drabu was in-charge of the Finance Ministry.

Three weeks after the agreement was signed, her husband passed away, and then both Drabu and Nazki started showing their true colours by bullying them and threatening them, Anita Mehta said.

“This continued for a couple of years and then they filed a case against us. We hired a lawyer, but they bought him. Then we changed lawyers. The new lawyer sent some notices and they got furious. They even manhandled us and sometimes threw garbage at us. Sometimes they’d just close the door and lock us in,” Mehta told a local news channel.

Mehta’s son, Dushyant Mehta, told IANS, “The deal was signed in 2016 and we were supposed to receive 25 per cent of the profit. Drabu and his wife must have made profit worth crores but they have not shared a single penny of the profit with us. When we cancelled the agreement in December 2020, it made them more furious and they threatened me and my mother by saying that will meet the fate of Akash Mehra.”

Akash Mehra was the son of the owner of Srinagar’s famous Krishna Dhaba, who was shot dead by Lashkar terrorists on February 17, 2020.

”We have the restraining order from the court. However, considering the ongoing pandemic situation, the police have sealed both the properties,” Dushyant added.

It may be mentioned here that in November 2020, Drabu and three of his relatives were named among around 400 other alleged illegal beneficiaries of the Roshni Land Scam.


Shaharbeen News Service Kashmir is a news service which covers, gathers, writes, and distributes news to newspapers, periodicals, radio and television broadcasters, government agencies, and other users. We at SNS Kashmir believe in fair and independent journalism to inform our masses or subscribers and readers about the happenings around the world. The prime focus of the news gathering and reporting is focused on Jammu and Kashmir state.

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