After turning a blind eye for more than 30 years, MC on Wednesday demolished more than 60 shops including some residences on the 2,200 yards of land in Ghumar Mandi.
People who saw their shops, dating back to more than 40 years falling like a pack of cards said MC did not listen to them even once. Many shopkeepers tried to show documents to joint commissioner P S Ghuman and assistant town planner Kamaljit Kaur but without any result.
Some even claimed that they payed rents and had taken shops on lease with documents.
Party leaders tried to score brownie points and came out in support of the people. Congress MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu, councillor Gurpreet Singh Gogi and Atam Nagar MLA Simarjit Singh Bains came out to get justice for the people. Sympathies poured out during drive even as illegal shops got all facilities such as electricity, water, sewerage since years.
In 1971, the mandi was donated to MC by one Banarasi Das to develop a park. In 2010, a shopkeeper got a stay from HC but it was dismissed in 2011. In February 2012, councillor Gogi stalled MC drive in same area. Next hearing is on May 27.
Congress leaders said that their areas are being targeted. Lok Sabha candidate Bittu said, “MC officials who allowed encroachments all these years should be punished.” Councillor Gogi claimed that he was put under house arrest. Meanwhile, Bains said, “I asked MC officials to show me HC orders and they just produced a notice dated 2011. If encroachments have to be removed then first act against BJP leader Harish Rai Dhadha who himself is a violator.”