More than 500 slums were demolished in an anti-encroachment drive conducted by the Indian Railways in Shakur Basti on Saturday, December 12.
The railways, in a statement, said encroachments had to be cleared to make space for a new terminal in the basti. It maintained that Delhi Police and DUSIB officials were informed in advance, as per rules.
“In the last nine months, three notices had been issued to encroachers to vacate railway land. The first one was issued in March. The second notice directed them to vacate by September 30, but they did not do so. The last notice asked them to vacate by December 12,” it said.
Railways came under fire from the Delhi High Court Monday, December 14, for clearing the Shakurbasti jhuggi cluster “without alternate arrangements” for rehabilitation of its residents “in the biting cold”.
“What was the tearing hurry to demolish in December? …You really don’t care about the people, you just want to remove them,” the bench of Justices
S Muralidhar and Vibhu Bakhru told Railways counsel Jagjeet Singh, pointing out that there were “a number of children suffering out there”.
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