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

Mystery around Gujarat PSU 'transfer' of Rs 250 crore to Canadian firm Karnalyte

By AK Luke, IAS (Retd)*
While returning from a Board meeting of the Oil India Limited (OIL) in Ahmedabad some time in 2012, two officers of the Gujarat State Fertilizers and Chemicals Ltd (GSFC), Nanavaty and Patel,  saw me off at the airport. They said they were proceeding to Canada in connection with a project GSFC had entered into with a company there. As we were running late, I hastily wished them the best.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

J&K continues to be haunted, as parts of India 'degenerate' into quasi-Kashmir situation

By Rajendran Narayanan*, Sandeep Pandey**
“Jab har saans mein bandook dikhe toh baccha kaise bekhauf rahe?” (How can a child be fearless when she sees a gun in every breath?) remarked Anwar, a gardener from Srinagar, when asked about the situation in Kashmir. On November 30, 2019, a walk through an iron gate in a quiet neighbourhood of Srinagar took us inside a public school. It was 11 am when typically every school is abuzz with activity. Not here though.

Indians have made 119 nations their ‘karma bhumi’: US-based Hindu NGO tells Rupani

Counterview Desk
In a stinging letter to Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani, the US-based Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), referring to the report citing his justification for the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) – that “while Muslims can choose any one of the 150 Islamic countries in the world (for residence), India is the only country for Hindus" – has said, he should remember, Hindus have made several countries, including USA, their home.

What about religious persecution of Dalits, Adivasis, asks anti-CAA meet off Ahmedabad

By Rajiv Shah
A well-attended Dalit rights meet under the banner “14 Pe Charcha” (discussion on Article 14 of the Indian Constitution), alluding to Prime Minister Narendra Modi well-known campaign phrase of the 2014 Parliamentary elections, “chai pe charcha” (discussion over cup of tea), organized off Ahmedabad, has resolved on Wednesday to hold a 14 kilometres-long rally on April 14 to oppose the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), enacted on December 10-11.

Tata Mundra's possible closure? Power ministry's 'pressure tactic' on consumer states

By Bharat Patel*
Tata power has announced to the Union Ministry of Power that Tata Power may be forced to stop operating  its imported coal-based Mundra Ultra-Mega Power Project (UMPP) after February, 2020. It is not only unfortunate but also criminal that irreversible damage has been caused to the fragile ecosystem of Mundra coast for a project that will have a running life of only seven years.

Upendra Baxi on foolish excellence, Indian judges and Consitutional cockroaches

By Rajiv Shah
In a controversial assertion, top legal expert Upendra Baxi has sought to question India's Constitution makers for neglecting human rights and social justice. Addressing an elite audience in Ahmedabad, Prof Baxi said, the constitutional idea of India enunciated by the Constituent Assembly tried to resolve four key conflicting concepts: governance, development, rights and justice.

Population control? 10% Indian couples want to delay next pregnancy, but fail

Counterview Desk
Shireen Jejeebhoy, director at Aksha Centre for Equity and Wellbeing, previously senior associate at the Population Council, India, argues that the debate on the country's population was fuelled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Independence Day address to the nation, where he drew attention to “concern” about the challenges posed by this ‘exploding’ population growth, needs to centre around the promotion of rights and education, instead of the language of explosion and the threat of coercion that this term implies.

Kerala governor turned History Congress into political arena, 'insulted' Prof Irfan Habib

Counterview Desk
In a signed statement, office bearers of the Aligarh Society of History and Archaeology (ASHA), Prof Syed Ali Nadeem Rezavi (president), Prof Jabir Raza (vice-president), Prof Manvendra Kumar Pundhir (secretary) and Prof Farhat Hasan (joint secretary), have said that Kerala governor Arif Mohammad Khan had sought to insult veteran historian Prof Irfan Habib, 88, at the 80th session of the Indian History Congress, even as turning it into his “political arena”.