The Delhi Development Authority on Thursday demolished a settlement of 40 houses in southeast Delhi’s Jasola, which it claimed were illegally encroaching DDA land. Local Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders and residents, however, claimed the demolition was in violation of a 2005 court order.
DDA officials oversaw the demolition, which took around one hour from 2.30 pm to 3.30 pm.
“We are not entitled to give any prior notice to residents before demolishing illegal and unauthorised encroachments. All demolitions are done in accordance with rules and in compliance with court orders, if any,” a DDA spokesperson said.
However, advocate Shahid Ali said, “Court orders of 2005 say that the DDA cannot demolish the housing structures without prior intimation.
The demolition is in violation of this order.”
Southeast Delhi police were deployed to maintain law and order and provide protection while the demolition was on.
Residents who lost their homes said they had been living in the area for over two decades.
Most of the affected families, whose houses were brick structures, earn their livelihood by making and selling brooms in different parts of the capital.
Moharvati Devi (61) said, “I got married and came to live here in 1986. I had my children here and they grew up here too. I lost my husband while living in this house. It has been nearly 30 years. Now they break our houses. Where will we go after this?”