Residents of a jhuggi in Shahdara protested outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Kaushambi residence on Sunday, after their homes were allegedly demolished on Saturday while Kejriwal was at the swearing-in ceremony.
According to Ghaziabad Police, the protesters alleged that the demolition was undertaken despite the AAP promising them during campaigning that their homes would be safe.
Residents alleged that eight jhuggis were demolished in Chhota Nagar near Ghuggi Pahalwan area by the Railways, which owns the land. “They destroyed our homes without giving us a warning. A number of people were injured,” one of the 40-odd protesters alleged.
“The Delhi Chief Minister was informed about the demolition. The protest stopped when Kejriwal assured them that he would take up the issue. He also asked protesters to meet their area MLA, Ram Nivas Goyal,” a senior police officer said.
However, Goyal said, “On February 6, some people — who already had homes — had set up small jhuggis in Shahadra near the railway track. On February 13, shopkeepers near the jhuggi found the locks to their shops had been broken and alleged that those living in the newly set up jhuggis were responsible. Upon investigation, it was found that the land the jhuggis were pitched on belonged to the Railways.”
Police, however, said they were trying to build jhuggis on government land and police personnel only stopped them from doing so after Railway officials informed them of the construction.