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‘Khap’ tweets raise a furore, NE residents deny eviction rumours

The tweets claimed that on Sunday the Munirka khap panchayat had ordered the eviction of people from the Northeast living in Munirka.

New Delhi |
Updated: February 18, 2014 5:10:04 am
Police personnel near Munirka Village on Monday evening. (Oinam Anand) Police personnel near Munirka Village on Monday evening. (Oinam Anand)

At Munirka village in South Delhi, less than a kilometre way from Jawaharlal Nehru University, 19-year-old Sonam, a momo seller from Darjeeling, is surprised to see television cameras and journalists making their way to the RWA president’s house.

To add to his surprise, Sonam is told about the “khap panchayat of the village”, who has allegedly been ordering people from  the Northeast states to leave the area.

Talk of the “khap panchayat” began on Monday morning after some representatives of the Northeast community, tweeted the “khap panchayat order”.

The tweets claimed that on Sunday the Munirka khap panchayat had ordered the eviction of people from the Northeast living in Munirka.

One of the tweets belonged to Binalakshmi Nephram, an activist from Manipur. “Condemn! Munirka Khap Panchayat at mtg yiday takes decison to force pple fm (sic) NorthEast to leave area,” she tweeted.

Soon after, the social networking site was flooded with tweets to protests the alleged khap panchayat order.

Several residents and student groups from the Northeast even visited the Vasant Vihar police station to express concern over the tweets.

Ironically, people from the Northeast living in Munirka, including Sonam, denied the existence of such a khap panchayat. They even denied being harassed by locals in area, which has a predominant Jat population.

Bijay, a call centre executive from Manipur, said, “We have not witnessed any change in the attitude of the locals. Sometimes, there is a fight between the locals and rogue elements, but that is it. The landlords do not harass us and are always ready to give their houses on rent to us.”

The Delhi Police, too, denied the news and rumour on Twitter.

“We request the public not to go by the rumours and stay calm. There is no panchayat in Munirka. A meeting was held between the RWA with police under the neighbourhood watch scheme, where problems faced by the locals were discussed. The RWA president has also given us a statement that no one has been harassed till date or will be harassed,” DCP (South) B S Jaiswal said.

Denying the rumours, president of the Munirka Village RWA, Bhagwan Dev, said he had requested police to close down several shops after 10 pm as drunk men gathered there and spread false news.

“We do not understand who has spread this false news. Any person from any part of India is welcome to stay at Munirka,” Dev said.

When contacted, Binalakshmi said she stood by her tweet.

“I have just come from the police station where a meeting was held between khap panchayat members, RWA members and students. Police has warned them of action if such an order is passed…,” she said

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