Stop unlawful demolitions, give compensation to victims of Jahangirpuri violence: Women’s groups

New Delhi, May 05 (KMS): Over 30 women’s and other groups have demand compensation and rehabilitation of home demolished in Jahangirpuri area of North West Delhi.

In a letter over 30 women’s organizations, other organizations and citizens concerned have demanded of the government to stop unlawful demolitions in Jahangirpuri area of North West Delhi and compensate, rehabilitate and restore livelihood of those whose houses and shops were illegally demolished.

The letter was sent to the Lieutenant Governor of New Delhi, the Delhi Chief Minister, and Mayors of all the five Municipal Corporations of Delhi which expressed “deep distress and concern” regarding the ongoing unlawful demolition drives in Delhi.

The letter expresses “dismay at the way in which bulldozers hired by civic authorities are targeting temporary structures essential for the livelihood of the poorest communities of Delhi who have already suffered sudden and severe destruction of their livelihoods during the last two years of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown.”

Further, in the case of Jahangirpuri, it is not an illegal or unauthorised colony as has been reported in sections of the press. It is an official resettlement colony established by the government itself, and its residents have fulfilled the due process required by the process of resettlement which includes possessing all the paperwork for their residences and moveable and immoveable property.

The letter states, “There is obviously a communal purpose to these demolitions, as blatantly communal sentiments have been expressed on the matter by political actors and echoed in media quarters. More such demolitions have been planned primarily in Muslim majority areas of Delhi – these include Shaheen Bagh, Okhla, Jasola and Madanpur Khadar. In Jahangirpuri too, long-time residents have been painted in this poisonous communal atmosphere as illegal immigrants, “Rohingyas”, “Bangladeshis” and “rioters” without a shred of evidence.”

The signatories call upon all the authorities:

To immediately put an end to demolitions of any sort.

To reassure the Muslim residents of Delhi that they will be offered the full protection of the law and the Constitution.

To offer just compensation, rehabilitation and restoration of lost livelihoods to residents whose property has been illegally destroyed by the state, subjecting them to loss of livelihood and personal trauma. KMS

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