Friday, Nov 28, 2014

Minister’s raid divides Khirki Extn residents

Written by Aditi Vatsa | New Delhi | Posted: January 22, 2014 3:26 am

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal may have called off his dharna on Tuesday but the issue is far from over for the residents of Khirki Extension. The manner in which Law Minister Somnath Bharti conducted a ‘raid’ in the area on the night of January 15 has divided the residents.

While most admit that the colony has been facing problems due to the alleged prostitution-and-drugs racket in the area, some had reservations about the manner in which Bharti handled the matter.

“This problem has existed for quite some time now. We have tackled the situation differently in the past. Our federation met landlords who had rented out flats to people who were engaged in such activities. Although I was not present at the time of the raid, I think the method was wrong,” Mahinder Kaushik, president of Federation of Residents’ Welfare Associations (RWAs) in Khirki, said.

According to Dinesh Awasthy, general secretary of R-Block Khirki Extension RWA, a local problem has become an international issue.

“This is unfortunate. We have become a laughing stock. The problem does exist but it should have been dealt with in a proper manner. Prior to the raid, meetings with police should have been called and substantial evidence collected,” Awasthy said.

Sandeep Saini, president of the Jan Kalyan Morcha in Khirki Extension, said, “I have even installed CCTV cameras near my house. Some Africans do engage in such activities. But that does not mean we drive them out of their homes. It is the job of police to look into the matter.”

“These people do not come here and stay on their own — we have rented our houses to them. Such crimes happen across the city. This does not mean that you break down doors of all residents here.”

Another section of the residents feel that it was police inaction on the matter which forced them to approach Bharti. “Bharti took the right step. Police should have taken such a step long ago. We had even approached the police commissioner, but nothing was done,” Shyamlal Gangia, president of J-4 block, Khirki Extension, said.

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