Skip to main content

Senior women's leader in Delhi severely injured as police cracks down amidst Kathputli Colony demolition

By Sanjeev Kumar*
Amidst a sudden demolition drive undertaken by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in the heart of the country’s capital, a police cracked down on the protesting people of Kathputli Colony, leading to severe injury to a senior women's leader, National Federation of Indian Women’s (NFIW's) Annie Raja. She has been admitted in Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital.​
The demolition drive started in the morning and people were given no time, as bulldozers destroyed the homes of hundreds of families. In the face-off between the police and the protesting residents, the former used tear gas and physical force to empty the houses.
Young men and children were dragged to the police station, while women faced heavy blows from lathis along with physical abuse at the hands of female constables. Residents were left with no time to pack their belongings as their houses were broken down with all their belongings in them.
Around the same time, NFIW general secretary Annie Raja reached the spot and joined the residents to protest against the the demolition drive. Police and DDA officials lathicharged her and dragged her away from the spot and she was gravely injured.
The ambulance that had been called for her was not allowed to reach her in time. She was left on the side of the road without any assistance from the police for over an hour. She had to be escorted to the RML hospital with the help of an autorickshaw when she was unable to walk.
Last year December, the DDA tried to initiate a similar demolition drive, but residents resisted, saying that they had not been informed about the project which was to be initiated on the spot where they lived, nor did they support it. Failure to give any evidence of consent forced DDA officials to backtrack.
Earlier, the authorities faced strong protests from residents of Kathputli Colony, with some residents representing with the Lieutenant Governor (LG)of Delhi, while a few others filed letters of complaints against the DDA. All that they received in return was the promise that their problem would be taken care of.
In a fresh directive, the LG recently ordered a new round of survey, saying that every family that has lived there before 2015 would be included in the final list of those who would be rehabilitated. However, in reality, only a few hundred families were surveyed, and, without any mechanism for receiving objections, warning or notice, the police came ready with water cannons and tear gas to demolish the colony and evict the residents.
Kathputli Colony is known for award-winning artists who are famous for their art within and outside India. People of different communities from across the country live here collectively. Amidst this the DDA, which is allegedly hand in glove with Raheja Builders, decided, without the consent of residents of Kathputli Colony, to ‘develop’ the colony and its people. However, the project is proving to be destructive for them,with officials and builders wrecking havoc on the people who have lived there for decades.
---
*Delhi Solidarity Group

Comments

TRENDING

'Attack on free expression': ABVP 'insults' Udaipur professor for FB post

Counterview Desk   People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Rajasthan, condemning what it called "insult of Professor Himanshu Pandya" by students affiliated with with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarti Parishad (ABVP) in Udaipur, has said he was evicted from the class where he was teaching after raising "ugly slogans", forcing him to "leave the university".

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Moving towards sustainable development? Social, environmental implications of HCES data

By Dr Vandana Sehgal, Dr Amandeep Kaur*  Sustainable development, the high time agenda, encompasses economic, social, and environmental dimensions, aiming for a balance between all these aspects to ensure long-term well-being and prosperity for all. One of the crucial aspects of sustainable development is consumption patterns. Consumption patterns refer to the way individuals, households, and societies use resources and goods. Sustainable consumption patterns entail using resources efficiently, minimizing waste, and considering the environmental and social impacts of consumption choices.

Will numerically strong opposition in Lok Sabha strengthen democracy?

By Prem Singh*  After the first phase of the 18th Lok Sabha elections, which were conducted in seven phases, it was already indicated that a large part of the country's population had decided to contest the elections against the present government. A large number of unemployed youth and the already agitating farmers played a major role in this act of protest. 

Heatwave in Bundelkhand: 'Inadequate attention' on impact on birds, animals

By Bharat Dogra, Reena Yadav*  While the heat wave and its many-sided adverse impacts have been widely discussed in recent times, one important aspect of heat waves has not received adequate attention and this relates to the impact on birds and animals.

How Congress leaders' 'arrogance', BSP's politicking helped BJP alliance to return to power

By Divesh Ranjan, Sandeep Pandey*  There are celebrations in the opposition circles that Bhartiya Janata Party has not been able to reach the half way mark to form the government and will be dependent on coalition partners to run the next government. It is being expected that alliance partners will exert some influence on the BJP to check its unbridled way of functioning where it does not even consult its own legislators. 

NE India: Creating 'greater divisions', BJP claims to have overcome tyranny of distance

By Makepeace Sitlhou*  In March, India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, said at an election rally in Arunachal Pradesh that previous governments had not cared for states that sent only two representatives to the country’s Parliament, as Arunachal and several others in the Indian Northeast do. Modi failed to see the irony of his claim given that he has not visited Manipur, which has only two representatives in parliament, since the outbreak of an armed ethnic conflict that has raged on for nearly a year. The toll from the violence stands at more than 200 lives lost, and many thousands displaced.