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From Khargone to Jahangirpuri, India's Democracy Is Being Razed by 'Bulldozers'

In recent instances, parts of houses, shops, and carts were razed after clashes in Khargone and Jahangirpuri.

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2 min read

English Script: Mayank Chawla

Video Editor: Deepthi Ramdas, Prashant Chauhan

'Log tut jaate hai ek ghar banane mein, tum taras nai khate bastiya jalane mein': Did Indian poet Bashir Badr know that India's democracy would be razed by a 'bulldozer'?

In recent instances, parts of houses, shops, and carts were demolished after communal clashes broke out in Madhya Pradesh's Khargone and New Delhi's Jahangirpuri. Those in power say that illegal encroachments and houses of rioters are being demolished. Without a trial, the government is resorting to the 'bulldozer' solution. But does the constitution allow razing of houses without a trial?

No! Therefore, we ask Janab Aise Kaise?

COMMUNAL CLASHES TRIGGERED DEMOLITION DRIVES

After communal clashes in MP’s Khargone and Barwani, houses and shops of 'those involved in violence' were razed in a demolition drive on 11 April.

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A similar drive was taken out in New Delhi's Jahangirpuri on 20 April, which was triggered by the communal clashes reported on Hanuman Jayanti. But what was the objective of these drives?

While officials cite 'encroachment' as the reason for demolition, a close investigation reveals that the houses in MP's Khargone were built under the PM Awas Yojana.

Why were the houses allowed to be built on encroached land then?

Another revelation states that three suspected rioters were not even present at the site of the incident. They were locked up in jail during the communal clashes.

"My son was in jail and the police are accusing him of rioting and stone-pelting."
Sakina, Mother of Shahbaz
"An FIR is registered against three of them. We are investigating if the suspects are the accused because the names are duplicated."
Baldev Singh Mujalda, SHO Barwani

AN EMERGING PATTERN

After the clashes in Madhya Pradesh, Home Minister Narottam Mishra said that "houses of those who pelted stones will be reduced to stone." A similar statement was given by BJP leaders in New Delhi, saying that bulldozers would tear down homes of those who pelted stones.

The law does not allow for the demolition of the houses of 'rioters' without an investigation. Forget investigation, was any notice issued to the 'suspected rioters' in Khargone or Jahangirpuri? The victims say no!

In Jahangirpuri, the demolition drive continued for 90 minutes even after Supreme Court stayed the demolition order maintaining the status quo.

In MP's Khargone and New Delhi's Jahangirpuri, the government has repeatedly used bulldozers without a trial. Is this a way to instil fear in one community?

Therefore, we ask… Janab Aise Kaise?

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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