Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has said that there will not be any further demolitions in Delhi till proper rehabilitation is undertaken. On the back drop of a six month old infant’s death in Shakur Basti following a demolition drive by the Railways, he also held urgent meeting with Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. It is reported that both of them had discussed the ways for rehabilitation of the slum dwellers.
“First, people living in the slums will be rehabilitated peacefully, then the vacant land will be handed over to the railways,” Kejriwal said. The demolition so far has razed around 1200 slums and shops in that area.
Meanwhile the issue has rocked the Parliament with blame games shifting between the ruling and opposition parties. Mr. Prabhu said, death of the infant Rukaiya Khatoon had occurred before the demolition drive, but the AAP government and opposition parties have refuted the claim. They are citing the post mortem report which says the death was because of shock as a result of head and chest injury by blunt force impact.
Considering the graveness of the situation, the Delhi High Court has issued notices to Delhi government, Railways and Delhi Police asked the detailed report of measures taken before starting with the demolition. The court has lambasted the drive as inhuman and said the Railways had not learnt anything from its past mistakes.
The Delhi Commission for Women chief, Swati Maliwal too issued notice to railways asking for a detailed report. The commission while taking the case suo-moto has also alleged that no prior notices were issued to the slum dwellers before carrying out the anti-encroachment drive.