Residents of a house in Gokulpur village have found themselves thrown under the spotlight after Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari broke open a seal that had been put there by the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, over allegations of an illegal dairy being run out of the premises.
Prem Tomar (45), who owns the house and lives with his wife and three children, said that while he had asked Tiwari for help after the home was sealed on September 14, he did not expect such drama would unfold.
His brother Krishan Tomar, who stays nearby, said: “We approached Tiwari since his constituency is North East Delhi. We expected he would resolve the matter through legal channels. But he came with a crowd of 2,000 people and broke the seal with a hammer… even we were surprised. Prem was in Rajasthan during the sealing as well as when Tiwari came.”
After Tiwari broke open the seal on September 15, the BJP-ruled EDMC filed a police complaint against him. When he said he would go to the house and break the seal again, he was stopped by authorities amid heavy police deployment.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court, on whose orders the sealing drive was being carried out, also pulled up Tiwari and questioned his claim that the court-appointed monitoring committee had failed to take action against several unauthorised properties in the capital. “So what if you are an MP. We will give make you the sealing officer. Give us the list by tomorrow morning and we will make you the sealing officer for them,” Justice Madan B Lokur said.
Since the re-sealing, the family has moved the two buffalos they owned out of the premises and taken them to Uttar Pradesh. While the family is still living there, they use a side entrance as the main door has been sealed by authorities.
Prem, meanwhile, claimed there was nothing illegal in what he was doing. “We have a 150 square foot three-storey house, and just two cattles. The cattle barely gave 8-10 kg of milk, which I sold to my own four brothers. Besides, our village Gokulpur falls under Lal Dora classification, which deems it a village. And in a village you can keep buffaloes”, he claimed.
An EDMC official said, “Gokalpur area indeed falls in the Lal Dora classification, which puts it under a village category. For one to keep cattle, they need to register the animals with relevant authorities. In this case, it was found the animals were not registered.”
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