Residents of Bhagwat Nagar on Sunday solicited government’s help and welcomed politicians but claimed that they would not allow the anti-eviction movement to turn into a political tussle.
RJD Rajya Sabha member Ram Kripal Yadav addressed a group of protesters at the locality in southeast Patna on Sunday afternoon, while a delegation of Adarsh, Bhagwat and Jai Prakash Nagar Makaan Bachao Sangharsh Morcha — the group spearheading the movement — met deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi at 1 Polo Road with their demands.
Yadav said: “The RJD supports the movement. The government cannot turn a blind eye to the agony of 25,000 people who live here. We demand that the government intervenes and provides immediate respite to the people who have been living here for several decades.”
After the meeting with Modi, Saroj Kumar Tripathy, president, Adarsh, Bhagwat and Jai Prakash Nagar Makaan Bachao Sangharsh Morcha, said: “Modiji wanted to meet us. He went through the legal documents and assured us that he would talk to chief minister Nitish Kumar when he returns from the Adhikar Yatra.”
At the focus of the agitation are the houses constructed illegally on 22.1 acres at Bhagwat Nagar in Kankerbagh. On September 12, the Supreme Court had directed the district administration to demolish 50 structures within six weeks. But when the authorities turned up at the locality on September 26 with a police force to evict the residents, they encountered a stiff protest.
Tripathy also said: “Ram Kripal Yadav came to Bhagwat Nagar on Sunday and Abdul Bari Siddiqui (Leader of Opposition) is expected to come tomorrow. We appreciate their support but we shall not let these leaders glean political mileage from our movement.”
He also outlined the future plan of protest. “If the government does not intervene by October 30 — the date set by the Supreme Court for the eviction — we shall organise chakka jam and rail roko in Patna,” said Tripathy.