Day after fire, residents clash with officials over demolition

A case has been registered at DLF Phase 3 police station against 12 persons under various sections of the IPC.

Written by Siddhartha Gupta | New Delhi | Published: May 24, 2014 2:20 am
Gurgaon officials at the site of the blaze in Nathupur. (Source:  Express photo) Gurgaon officials at the site of the blaze in Nathupur. (Source: Express photo)

A demolition exercise by Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) on Thursday evening next to a slum cluster in Nathupur, which was gutted in a fire earlier that day, snowballed into a confrontation between officials and slum residents.

Residents threw stones at MCG officials and torched two vehicles of the fire department, police said. According to MCG officials, the demolition drive could not be completed and the officials had to leave the premises in a hurry as their “lives were in danger”.

A case has been registered at DLF Phase 3 police station against 12 persons under various sections of the IPC. “About six MCG officials sustained serious injuries. Four fire officials were injured and had to be hospitalised. The residents torched two fire department vehicles. They  had encroached on MCG land. So they were not in favour of action against them,” Praveen Kumar, MCG Commissioner, said.

“Approximately 100 acres in Nathupur village belongs to MCG. Of this, the residents have encroached on almost 50 acres. There are about 15 prominent families in the village who have encroached on MCG land,” Kumar said. Kumar said when he reached the site for an inspection, he was told that not only the slum cluster, but the buildings next to it too were on MCG land. Following this, he ordered that the buildings be demolished.

MCG officials said the residents in the cluster were paying a high rent to the owners of the buildings and protested against the demolition.
The owner of the building said, “I have invested almost Rs 35 lakh on this building. Now it is all gone. The MCG officials did not even check the property papers we were trying to show them. No notice was given to us. A panchayat has been called later this evening to deliberate on this matter,” he said.

Residents also marched to DLF Phase 3 police station on Friday evening demanding action against MCG Commissioner. They alleged that the slum cluster was deliberately burnt down to evict people.

Meanwhile, residents of the slum cluster, which was gutted on Thursday, have been given temporary shelter in a government school that was lying vacant. Officials said they have been provided food, clothing and necessary medical attention.

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