A hut belonging to an 18-year-old national hockey player, Sagu Dawar, was demolished in an anti-encroachment drive carried out in Mandsaur by the Madhya Pradesh Police and the district administration on Monday, 2 May.
The national hockey player had been living with her family in the hut near the stadium for nearly 50 years, from where she began playing hockey and brought laurels home.
Although the administration has arranged for a house and plot in the nearby village of Alavada Khedi for Sagu Dawar and her family, they expressed their dissatisfaction with the proposal.
A clash ensued in which Dawar reportedly attempted to pour kerosene on herself in a self-immolation attempt in front of the administration but was persuaded by the police into settling the matter.
Other Women Poured Kerosene on Me: Sagu
Dawar said that she and her family had requested the administration for two to three days to vacate the land, but the police went ahead with the demolition "before we could leave with our belongings."
She added that her shirt got torn in the clash and other women in the area, whose huts were also demolished, poured kerosene on her, saying that "they will die here."
Sub-Divisional Magistrate Bihari Singh said that the anti-encroachment drive was being conducted for the last six months as the illegal encroachment was built on the land owned by the local stadium.
Regarding the clash between Dawar's family and the administration, Singh said,
"These are pressure tactics and resistance by the family to delay the process of removing encroachments."
He added that the administration had all the records that prove that the encroachments were removed only after a substantial hearing in the tehsil in the presence of the residents.
(With inputs from Salman Qureshi)