More than 20 villagers and 30 cops, including children and women, were injured when violence broke out at Fatehpur Jharsa village under Sadar police station following a demolition drive by the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) on Friday.
Violence broke out between the Gurgaon cops and the villagers in Sector 47, after the demolition drive began in the morning around 10:30am. Around 400 cops including rapid action force (RAF)were deployed at the spot.
According to the villagers, they were not given prior notice that demolition would take place. The villagers, who were opposing the demolition started pelting stones and glass bottles at the cops to ‘save their houses’. In return to which rounds were fired by the cops and police resorted to firing tear gas shells. Also, this led to police lathi charging them.
The police team arrested nearly 50 persons from the spot including women and children. The SDM of Gurgaon was too injured during the stone pelting.
It took nearly an hour for police to take the extreme step of lathi charge as the villagers were pelting stones on them and had refused to vacate the village.
Police said one auto-rickshaw and some of the houses were burnt and the villagers resorted to stone pelting. There are, however, conflicting statements regarding who set the vehicles and houses on fire, with the villagers and the police blaming the other.
The villagers, however, claimed that the land belonged to them and they were settled here for the past over 100 years. “These people have been staying here since 1938 and can produce evidence in this connection. Now suddenly, the government has rendered them homeless without any notice and rehabilitation plan”, said Pardeep Singh Kashyap, state vice president of Haryana Kashyap Rajput Sabha.
“We were shocked to see police in large numbers; they pelted stones on us and also threw tear gas shells. The police had surrounded the village and began the demolition drive. We also pelted stones on them as many of families were injured. They set fire to our houses and we have beard huge loss. We were outnumbered and had no choice but to helplessly watch the police raze our houses. They spared only temples and nothing else,” said Mukesh Yadav, a villager.
DCP(East) Deepak Saharan said, “The villagers started pelting stone on the force and the SDM Om Prakash was injured. We wanted a peaceful demolition but they started pelting stone and bottles on the force when we reached the area. They themselves set the houses on fire and we had called the fire tenders to douse the blaze. We have taken out the women and children safely and have evacuated the village”.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines