Path to Dalit basti at Annandale restored

Path to Dalit basti at Annandale restored

Old pedestrian path to Dalit bastis cleared after day-long discussions,administrative interventions.

After day-long discussions and administrative interventions,the old pedestrian path to Dalit bastis,which was blocked by promoters of a private BEd college near Annandale,was finally cleared on Saturday — ending growing tension in the locality.

But this happened not before activists of the Shimla Nagrik Sabha sat on a night-long dharna at the site of the blocked path. This was followed by locals — who had openly opposed the obstruction — pulling down the wall raised to block the path in the morning.

After reports reached the administration that tension was building up in the area,police personnel were rushed to the spot. Dialogue was also started with the agitated members of the Nagrik Sabha and the promoters. This finally led to the inking of an agreement at behest of Additional District Magistrate N K Lath later in the evening.

Sabha spokesman Vijender Mehta hailed the agreement between the people of Annadale and the Modern College to open the Dhobighat Road and Sheel Path for the people residing there. “This has proved beyond doubt that the century-old road was illegally occupied by the management. This has also vindicated the position of the Sabha that the struggle was legitimate. The Shimla Municipal Corporation,which should have acted in public interest to restore the path,has sided with the college management,” said Mehta.