Updated: July 17, 2021 5:33:03 pm
Even as the Faridabad Municipal Corporation said demolitions at Khori village can begin anytime, around 200 people tried to “gherao” the Prime Minister’s Office in Delhi on Thursday to protest the move before they were removed from the area.
A senior Delhi Police officer told The Indian Express, “Around 200 people were removed from Barakhamba road. A few of them have been detained.”
Activists involved in the demonstration said they had scheduled their protest for 12 pm but were picked up near Jantar Mantar in minutes. Those detained include social activist Meenu Verma and former Lok Sabha MP and Congress national spokesperson Udit Raj.
Said the former MP, “… When the administration reaches the village with bulldozers and cranes, people are ready to die in front of the bulldozers before the house breaks down. The Haryana government should have made rehabilitation arrangements before displacement, but unfortunately this did not happen. These people have built their houses with their blood and sweat…, which are being broken in front of their eyes today. This will not be tolerated…”
Verma added, “These innocent people have bought this land by being trapped in the clutches of the land mafia, and have been given government electricity, water, and amenities. If the residences… were illegal, then why were votes taken from them by making false promises? During the pandemic, it is inhuman to make thousands of children homeless.”
The shadow of demolition has been looming over Khori village since June 7, when the Supreme Court directed the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad (MCF) to “remove encroachments on the subject forest land without any exception” — putting over 5,000 homes in danger of being razed. The civic body has been given six weeks to complete the task.
Residents of the area, many of whom have been living there for over 15 years, have been protesting against the move. On June 30, one such protest ended in a clash with police. Several residents have also submitted complaints to Faridabad Police against people who sold them government land fraudulently, and 25 FIRs have been registered at Surajkund police station.
Faridabad Deputy Commissioner Yashpal said: “All preparations are ready to carry out the demolition as per the Supreme Court’s directions. Work can be started any time now.”
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