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Kejriwal to Raise Demolition Issue with Railway Minister

Arvind Kejriwal to take up the demolition issue with Railway Minister and Delhi government ordered magisterial probe.

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People collect their belongings after a demolition drive carried out by railways in Shakur Basti of Delhi on Sunday. (Photo: PTI)

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will take up the demolition drive in Shakur basti and death of a baby at the site with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu as he was not satisfied with the ministry officials’ response.

“In the meeting, Railway officials told the CM said that there is no rehabilitation scheme before demolition. The Chief Minister completely rejected the claims of the Railways,” said a Delhi Government official. After meeting the evicted dwellers, Kejriwal said that those people had been living there since 1992-94.

The Delhi government ordered a magisterial probe into the demolition of 1200 slum units at Shakur Basti in West Delhi and planned to move court seeking FIR against those who ordered the action citing the Special Provision Act according to which no demolition can be carried out until government needs land urgently.

“Those who have done this (demolition of shanties) are not humans, instead they are animals and bestial,” Kejriwal said.

Sources said that the Railway officials failed to give satisfactory response in the meeting with the Delhi CM.

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Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. (Photo: PTI)
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal. (Photo: PTI)

“Railway officials failed to give satisfactory response as to why demolition drive was carried out when asked whether it was an emergency project,” sources said.

They added when Kejriwal asked why proper rehabilitation measure was not taken before demolition, Railway officials said they will inform the their Board and Ministry about it.

“CM was not happy with the Railway officials’ response and he would take up the matter with Railway Minister,” sources also said.

The railways, on its part, said the removal of “fresh encroachment” was necessary for expanding the infrastructure and that the action had been taken after three notices, the first one with the March 14, 2015 deadline.

A six-month-old baby died in one of the slum units, which the railways insisted had “nothing to do with removal of encroachments”, claiming that it occurred two hours before the demolition started at 12 pm.

Police said prima facie the baby died due to suffocation after a heap of clothes fell on it when the parents were preparing to clear out of the jhuggi and hence no case was registered.

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