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Three days after over 500 jhuggis in Kathputli Colony were demolished by the DDA, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal Thursday said he will request Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to stop the “brutality” meted out to residents by the DDA and Delhi Police. The CM added that the government will provide tents, food and water to those who have been displaced.
In his 20-minute visit to the colony, he said: “Houses have been demolished in such a brutal manner, rendering people homeless. They have lost their belongings. I will request the L-G to stop all this.” He added: “Since we came to power, we have rehabilitated residents of several JJ clusters. They were happy to move… Give them pucca houses and good establishments, and they will go happily. Destruction of houses in this manner will not serve any purpose. What are they trying to prove? They (DDA) said they will provide in-situ rehabilitation for residents. But it should not be done in this way.”
But the DDA, which is headed by the L-G, issued a different statement. While Kejriwal said police and DDA should not be used “for destructive purposes”, the DDA statement said: “Chief Minister Delhi today met Hon’ble Lt Governor in this regard and appreciated the work being carried out by DDA as per the orders of the Hon’ble High Court.”
Meanwhile, residents hoped Kejriwal’s visit will bring them some relief. “He will provide us some help, but it is just for a few days. We have lost all our belongings, we have no money to buy food or a place to sleep. Our last hope is the high court,” 45-year-old Sheila Kumari said.