The Jahangirpuri Demolition and After
Photos of the “demolition drive” conducted by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation controlled by the Bharatiya Janata Party in Jahangirpuri on Wednesday, site of a “communal clash” during a Hindu festival last week.
Like the religious procession the demolition surrounded Muslims. Hearing urgent petitions the Supreme Court ordered a halt yesterday which took nearly two hours to implement. The Opposition parties, including the governing Aam Aadmi Party, did little more than issue statements and tweets and it was left to a woman leader Brinda Karat to rush to the people’s rescue with the court order. Politburo member of the CPI-M Karat was on the ground to stop the bulldozers, with no sign of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal or his party leaders.
Reports suggest that the hapless victims were not given any notice and lost their belongings and homes and shops in the demolition. The bulldozers moved in, refused to look at papers or listen to the cries and pleas of the inhabitants. Even after the courts issued a stay the bulldozers, according to Karat, continued with the demolition claiming that they had not received any such notice. Her intervention with the authorities finally brought the ordeal to an end, as the residents picked up their destroyed belongings, with one little boy picking up the pennies of his father’s hard earned money that had scattered with the little they owned.
The families do not know what they will do next. The case is being heard today.