Bhagwat Nagar residents are spending sleepless nights fearing civic bulldozers razing their homes in a surprise raid any moment.
Six days after they thwarted the administration’s bid to demolish their homes, speculation is rife about civic body bulldozers, accompanied by police forces, would rumble into the colony to demolish illegal tenements from the Finance Co-operative House Construction Committee’s land following a Supreme Court order.
Sources said the entire government machinery was busy with preparations for the President’s visit to the state on Wednesday and the Patna Municipal Corporation would take its next course of action thereafter.
“The matter is very serious. There have been some talks with Patna Municipal Corporation in the same connection. A forceful entry for now is not on the cards, as the civic body has not asked for additional forces from the district administration. Of what we know is that the Patna Municipal Corporation would try to talk to the residents and request them not to protest further, as it is an order of the Supreme Court. But evicting so many families is a very difficult task. Things would start taking shape only after Pranab Mukherjee’s visit,” an official of the district administration told The Telegraph.
Chandrama Singh, the additional commissioner of the Patna Municipal Corporation, refused to make any comment on the matter. “Please do not ask me about this issue as I am not supposed to say anything,” he said.
Patna Municipal Corporation commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pal remained unavailable for comments.
Sources in the Patna Municipal Corporation have hinted at talks with the protesters to find a way to end the deadlock.
They, however, added that municipal commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pal has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court, stating that the colony would be demolished by Dussehra on October 24.
Residents stayed awake at the protest site on Saturday and Sunday nights following such rumours. To add to the anxiety of the Bhagwat Nagar residents, the death of a member of the Adarsh, Bhagwat, Jai Prakash Nagar Makaan Bachao Sangharsh Morcha on Monday came as a shock.
“We have a group of youngsters who constantly zip around on motorbikes at night. There have been a lot of rumours about large groups of police getting ready to forcibly enter the colony. On Saturday night, we heard a rumour that the police would barge into the colony in the small hours. The situation was the same on Sunday as well. But there have been assurances from some quarters that things would be fine and the chief minister would intervene in the matter. But things are getting difficult with each passing day,” Saroj Kant Tripathy, the president of the morcha, said.
Colony residents said though they were ready for parleys, leaving the place was impossible. “We can always talk and one can find a way out. But then we would not leave our homes under any circumstances. If force is used, there would be retaliation,” Tripathy said.