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AAP slams BJP, Delhi civic board over demolition of rat-hole miner Wakeel Hassan's house

Hassan is one of the rat-hole miners who had rescued workers trapped in an under-construction tunnel in Uttarakhand last year

Pheroze L. Vincent New Delhi Published 02.03.24, 06:13 AM
Brinda Karat meets the family of Wakeel Hassanin New Delhi onFriday.

Brinda Karat meets the family of Wakeel Hassanin New Delhi onFriday. PTI photo

Aam Aadmi Party MLAs on Friday slammed the BJP and the central agencies for demolishing the house of one of the rat-hole miners who had rescued workers trapped in an under-construction tunnel in Uttarakhand last year.

Wakeel Hassan’s house was razed in a demolition drive by the Delhi Development Authority on Wednesday.


AAP MLA Rajendra Pal Gautam said the required 15-day notice had not been served. He added that laws granting possession of encroached government land to those who have lived there for more than 30 years were not followed.

“The LG and the Centre should be more interested in providing people housing than demolishing houses… Why don’t these departments, police and the LG act when these colonies are made? An inquiry must be ordered to investigate who settled these colonies and when, and who demolished them. They should be prosecuted and punished…. Those evicted should be resettled under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana,” Gautam said.

MLA Dilip Pandey said the number of evicted people in the past few years had exceeded three lakh. He said: “In the last few years, central agencies have arbitrarily run bulldozers in Delhi… which have made more than three lakh people homeless…. No rules, laws or protocol were adhered to.”

“No government should have the power to snatch food, clothing and shelter from people. DDA and BJP people hate 30 per cent of Delhi’s population (who live in slums). They want to kill them. This is a criminal act.”

Delhi’s urban development minister Saurabh Bharadwaj said officials had repeatedly violated his orders against evictions, citing pressure from lieutenant governor Vinai Saxena. He cited the case of the Sunder Nursery demolitions on a legal settlement after the lawyer of the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) submitted an inaccurate affidavit in court.

The Delhi government and the LG have been in disagreement over which lawyers represent the government in court, In this case, two lawyers both claiming to represent the DUSIB, turned up in court.

“How do officers commit such illegal and inhuman acts? What is your fear? Will the LG hang you? My speech is of no use, but someday people will read it in the House proceedings. Someday power will return to the people, and the officers who committed these dark deeds will be punished,” Bharadwaj said.

CPM delegation

A CPM delegation, led by the party’s politburo member, Brinda Karat, on Friday met Hassan and his family.

“It is astonishing that in this entire colony, Sri Ram Colony, Sonia Vihar colony nearby and many other colonies that are so-called illegal encroachment... only one house was targeted, that is the house of the labourer who risked his life to rescue 41 other labourers.... That house has been demolished,” Karat said.

“The LG says, we will re-construct the house, but the reality is that no representative of the LG has visited them. (North East Delhi MP) Manoj Tiwari says we are sorry this happened, we will construct the house, but he has not visited the family,” Karat said.

“They are sitting here, they have a 14-year-old daughter.... They say sabka sath, sabka vishwas.... A 14-year-old has not been able to appear in her exam because her house has been demolished, but she is educating other children here. (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi and his team should come here and learn what sabka vishwas, sabka sath means,” the Left leader added.

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