Demolition Drive: Action continues in Delhi, encroachers outraged
New Delhi, May 12 (IANS) The Municipal Corporation of Delhi's hardline approach vis-a-vis demolishing illegal encroachments in the national capital left the 'encroachers' outraged on Wednesday in the southeast part of the city.
The civic authorities had planned to demolish illegally constructed structures in various parts of the city, but when they reached the Madanpur Khadar area, people started protesting against the demolition drive.
Amid agitation and sloganeering, the civic agency continued its action against illegal encroachments. Two five-storey under construction buildings were demolished in the process.
Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan soon reached the spot where people were protesting against the corporation officials.
While speaking to the media, Khan accused the civic body of demolishing the houses of poor people.
"You said that you will remove encroachments. I am with you on this. But you are demolishing poor people's houses. There is not a single encroachment in this area," the AAP MLA claimed.
An hour after he reached the spot, the protest suddenly turned violent as people in large numbers resorted to stone pelting. The police had to use force to disperse the crowd. Amid the pandemonium, several people were detained.
The situation in the area remained tense for a few hours and then gradually turned normal. The demolition drive was carried out by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) in Madanpur Khadar and Dhirsen Marg.
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) carried out similar drives in Rohini and Karol Bagh in the northern part of the city.
Meanwhile, the hapless destitutes residing alongside the K.N. Katju road were left agonised as their illegally constructed huts were demolished by the civic agency.
The shanties that were razed to the ground were constructed on the pavement of the main road, i.e., on government land.
As the officials of the civic body arrived there, the people, rather than resisting the drive, were seen removing the temporarily structures themselves.
"We have been residing here for the past 25 years and there was no problem. We are not Bangladeshis or Rohingyas. We came from Rajasthan decades ago," Ram Lal Solanki, whose dwelling was demolished, told IANS.
When asked where they will go now, Solanki said they have no place to go and will reside on the same pavement, sans a roof over their head.
A woman named Bimla expressed similar sentiments while speaking to IANS.
"I have four sons and as many daughter-in-laws. My grandchildren are studying in school. We won't go anywhere and stay here only," she said.
After removing over 300 shanties, the demolition process culminated for Thursday and the bulldozers were last seen removing the debris on the footpath.