Railways demolition: AAP accuses Centre of ‘selective targeting’

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December 13, 2015

New Delhi: Delhi's ruling AAP on Sunday accused the Centre of "selective targeting" in carrying out anti-encroachment activities, and said "god will not forgive" those who have rendered "hundreds of people homeless" in biting cold.

December 13, 2015

New Delhi: Delhi's ruling AAP on Sunday accused the Centre of "selective targeting" in carrying out anti-encroachment activities, and said "god will not forgive" those who have rendered "hundreds of people homeless" in biting cold.

"We are shocked by the demolition drive carried out by the Railways, without providing any rehabilitation to the affected people, which is against the norms prescribed by the Supreme Court. And, it is inhuman to leave people out in this weather when the mercury has suddenly dipped," senior AAP leader Kumar Vishwas told reporters.

Railways conducted a demolition on Saturday at Shakur Basti in west Delhi in which 1,200 slum units were removed, with the public transporter insisting that the action was necessary to clear the "encroachments" for expanding the infrastructure.

Flanked by party MLAs Amanatullah Khan (Okhla) and Saurabh Bhardwaj (Greater Kailash), Vishwas accused the Centre of "going soft on rich people in areas like Sainik Farms and show no mercy when it comes to poor people living in shanties."

"The Centre on one hand brags about its 'smart city' initiative and on the other hand needy people are rendered homeless. This is not smart city," he said, alleging "even AAP is being targeted by them (Centre) because we stand for the 'aam aadmi'."

According to Bhardwaj, about 2,000 people have been affected by the "anti-encroachment drive", a fresh flashpoint between the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP dispensation and the Centre.

A six-month-old baby died in one of the slum units, which the railways insisted occurred two hours before the demolition started at 12 pm.

Chief Minister Kejriwal and Health Minister Satyendra Jain (Shakur Basti MLA) had visited the area last night and Kejriwal even rang up Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to apprise him of the situation.

"Poor people didn't vote for them (BJP) in the elections. But, most parties, including Congress would try to woo them back, but BJP has realised they have no interest left in them, hence this kind of action," Bhardwaj alleged.

The ruling party in Delhi also termed the drive as "sudden" action and said earlier too similar activities were planned by Railways, but could not materialize following "intervention by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and the state government".

"What season they chose to remove the people from here….during this cold season…What was the national emergency that impelled them to demolish the shanties?

"Earlier too, they had planned the drive three-four times, but it was not undertaken following CM's and my intervention. But yesterday, they came with big force and suddenly, demolished the shanties. Now where will people go in this cold," Jain questioned.


Courtesy: PTI