‘We Fear Gangs Taking Control & Police Inaction in Batla House’
Residents have been facing the situation since 3 years.
Residents have been facing the situation since 3 years.(Photo: The Quint)

‘We Fear Gangs Taking Control & Police Inaction in Batla House’

There are hundreds of oppressed people inside the locality of Batla House and Zakir Nagar, and I’m one of them. Batla House’ P Block, in Delhi’s Okhla area, is the stronghold of Ganja (cannabis) sellers, extorters and gangsters who occupy the residential streets and freely threaten the people. The sabzi mandi in the area is an easy selling point of Ganja through hawkers. The gang members install a hawker at some place on the street and start collecting daily amount from him. The same process goes on everyday.

The gang members, mostly known as “shatla vaale”, are close relatives and aides of a local MLA. A few days back, a resident was attacked by the gang members for stopping the installation of new hawker in front of the gate of my house.

The Shatla Gang is most notoriously known for more than a decade for illegally seizing plots and flats in the locality and collecting money from the owners.
The Shatla Gang is most notoriously known for more than a decade for illegally seizing plots and flats in the locality and collecting money from the owners.
(Photo: The Quint)

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The Shatla Gang is most notoriously known for more than a decade for illegally seizing plots and flats in the locality and collecting money from the owners. Since no free land/plots are left, this gang has entered into another sort of illegal business.

As a whistleblower, I also know that the lives of my family and I are in danger, hence I also requested protection from the authorities. There is no free and safe passage to any house, several gang groups stand alongside the hawkers, making the passage more unsafe. If someone asks them to move from the front gate of the house, abuses and threats would be hurled at.

This has been the case for more than three years, the gangs have mentally harassed us in such a way that life has become less and less meaningful.

Because of these hawkers, the living environment around here is unclean and unsafe which is dangerous to children’s health.

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Residents from the colony, myself included, have registered complaints from 2016 to 2019 regarding the illegal establishment of a mandi in a residential colony (The Quint is in possession of a copy of the complaints).

In March 2018, I lodged a complaint regarding the menace and was assured that the vendors will be removed from their place. A snapshot from February 2019 shows that they are very much in the same place.

A snapshot from February 2019.
A snapshot from February 2019.
(Photo: The Quint)

We have continued to complain to other authorities like the JCP, Commissioner of Police, the Grievance Redressal cell etc, but since the action couldn’t be initiated without the Jamia Police, complaining to higher authorities went in vain.

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It’s important for all, whether oppressed or privileged, to question cops’ place in society. The Jamia Nagar Police Station is responsible for physically maintaining law and order in the localities under its jurisdiction viz Batla House and delivering street justice. Despite complaints, why has the police not succeeded in removing these gangs? Why is there a friendly indifference to what the gangs do on the streets?

What has stopped the police from acting on the complaints registered? Is there a nexus between these two groups?

Clearly, the cops’ position in implementing law and order, as well as their silence on atrocities in Batla House has been hypocritical.

The Quint ’s My Report team reached out to the Jamia Nagar police station SHO Upender Singh who said he’ll provide some more details on the case after Ramzan. The story will be updated as and when he responds.

(All 'My Report' branded stories are submitted by citizen journalists to The Quint. Though The Quint inquires into the claims/allegations from all parties before publishing, the report and the views expressed above are the citizen journalist's own. The Quint neither endorses, nor is responsible for the same.)

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