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Delhi: Are the ongoing municipal demolition drives a move to frighten people?

IFTU, Janhastakshep visits SDMC’s encroachment removal zones, find only small vendors were targeted

Sabrangindia 06 May 2022

demolition

As the municipal bodies of Delhi continue ‘demolition’ drives in various areas of the city, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has already razed over half a dozen shops in Tughlakabad. This demolition drive took place on Wednesday morning, stated news reports. Those manning the shops and kiosks claimed they had been running them for years near Dr. Karni Singh shooting range, and that the MCD did not give any prior notice, reported Indian Express.

On May 5, a team of Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) and Jan Hastakshep led by Mrigank (Vice President, IFTU Delhi Committee), Jay Prakash (Joint Secretary, IFTU Delhi Committee) and Amitabha Basu (Jan Hastakshep, CR Park), visited the Tughlakabad, Sangam Vihar area near Karni Singh Shooting Range. They detailed their findings in a report released to the media. The report comprises eye witness accounts by local residents and shopkeepers of the events of May 4. The locals claimed that “they had no prior knowledge that encroachment removal was scheduled for that day” and that there were just three “kuccha shops with plastic sheets” and two push carts.  

While “no prior notice had been given” the three shops owners told the fact finding team that they had “challans and one of the shopkeepers, Harishankar, even had a receipt of his application for allotment of space. Naresh, a shopkeeper, was away for the wedding of a relative but his shop was broken in his absence. “The SDMC team did not listen to any plea of the two shop owners present or to the local people who had collected there,” stated the IFTU report adding that the owner of the third shop, a juice shop, Md. Ashraf could not even remove his goods and suffered maximum loss as his fruits were perishable and not usable once thrown on the ground. He had to pay a fine to reclaim the juicer he used.   

According to the reports these shops of Naresh and Ashraf have been there for more than two decades, “Naresh's shop was started by his mother and that of Ashraf by his father. Harishankar came a few years later but he recollects that he has been there for at least 15 years.” The demolition, stated the rights bodies, were “a move to frighten people” and that the SDMC has chosen areas where poor shopkeepers and pushcart owners are doing petty business. Now, there is an atmosphere of fear and  the areas declared for "encroachment removal" by SDMC are those where poor people live and also run petty shops. 

The team has stated that this illegal "encroachment demolition" being done “without notices, without examining the papers which the poor possess and in a totally anti-poor and arrogant manner, with no intention to safeguard people's livelihood, must be stopped immediately.” They have demanded that the SDMC “must return the deposited fines and also compensate these small shopkeepers for their losses, which for such victims are back-breaking.” 

The team asks if the “aim of the central govt to squeeze poor residents of the city eking out livelihoods at the margins, and also including poor Muslims, to leave this city? That seems to be what this mix of arbitrary attacks and high-level hate propaganda and threats aims at.”

 

Related:

Your silence, in the face of this enormous societal threat, is deafening: CCG to PM

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Delhi: Are the ongoing municipal demolition drives a move to frighten people?

IFTU, Janhastakshep visits SDMC’s encroachment removal zones, find only small vendors were targeted

demolition

As the municipal bodies of Delhi continue ‘demolition’ drives in various areas of the city, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) has already razed over half a dozen shops in Tughlakabad. This demolition drive took place on Wednesday morning, stated news reports. Those manning the shops and kiosks claimed they had been running them for years near Dr. Karni Singh shooting range, and that the MCD did not give any prior notice, reported Indian Express.

On May 5, a team of Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU) and Jan Hastakshep led by Mrigank (Vice President, IFTU Delhi Committee), Jay Prakash (Joint Secretary, IFTU Delhi Committee) and Amitabha Basu (Jan Hastakshep, CR Park), visited the Tughlakabad, Sangam Vihar area near Karni Singh Shooting Range. They detailed their findings in a report released to the media. The report comprises eye witness accounts by local residents and shopkeepers of the events of May 4. The locals claimed that “they had no prior knowledge that encroachment removal was scheduled for that day” and that there were just three “kuccha shops with plastic sheets” and two push carts.  

While “no prior notice had been given” the three shops owners told the fact finding team that they had “challans and one of the shopkeepers, Harishankar, even had a receipt of his application for allotment of space. Naresh, a shopkeeper, was away for the wedding of a relative but his shop was broken in his absence. “The SDMC team did not listen to any plea of the two shop owners present or to the local people who had collected there,” stated the IFTU report adding that the owner of the third shop, a juice shop, Md. Ashraf could not even remove his goods and suffered maximum loss as his fruits were perishable and not usable once thrown on the ground. He had to pay a fine to reclaim the juicer he used.   

According to the reports these shops of Naresh and Ashraf have been there for more than two decades, “Naresh's shop was started by his mother and that of Ashraf by his father. Harishankar came a few years later but he recollects that he has been there for at least 15 years.” The demolition, stated the rights bodies, were “a move to frighten people” and that the SDMC has chosen areas where poor shopkeepers and pushcart owners are doing petty business. Now, there is an atmosphere of fear and  the areas declared for "encroachment removal" by SDMC are those where poor people live and also run petty shops. 

The team has stated that this illegal "encroachment demolition" being done “without notices, without examining the papers which the poor possess and in a totally anti-poor and arrogant manner, with no intention to safeguard people's livelihood, must be stopped immediately.” They have demanded that the SDMC “must return the deposited fines and also compensate these small shopkeepers for their losses, which for such victims are back-breaking.” 

The team asks if the “aim of the central govt to squeeze poor residents of the city eking out livelihoods at the margins, and also including poor Muslims, to leave this city? That seems to be what this mix of arbitrary attacks and high-level hate propaganda and threats aims at.”

 

Related:

Your silence, in the face of this enormous societal threat, is deafening: CCG to PM

Delhi: ‘Rohingya Bangladeshi’ taunts putting other Muslim dominated areas on the buldozer map?

Jahangirpuri: Hindu, Muslim citizens take out peace march holding Tricolour

Two terrorists killed in Jammu shoot-out

Evolution of Bulldozer Injustice

Speak out against the politics of hate: JJM

Khargone: Five arrested for Ibraish Khan’s murder 

Jahangirpuri Demolition: SC to take “serious view of demolitions after Mayor was informed of order”

Eye witness account from the broken heart of Jahangirpuri

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