The Delhi Commission for Women today instituted an inquiry into the demolition of a night shelter for women and children located opposite Nizamuddin Dargah, which had rendered more than 100 people homeless. Issuing a notice to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Delhi police, DCW chairperson Swati Maliwal said those who were staying at the shelter belong to the most downtrodden sections of the society and displacing them without an arrangement of proper rehabilitation and a prior notice is a violation of their human rights.
“At a time when crime against women and girls is increasing in Delhi, this act of the authorities has left over 100 women and girls homeless and significantly increased their vulnerability. “It is to be noted that many children living at the night shelter were orphans. It is the duty of the government authorities to protect them. Instead, their only shelter has been demolished apparently without any rehabilitation plan,” the commission said.
It has asked for the reasons for demolition of the night shelter and sought to know whether any notice was served to inform them of the demolition.
It further sought to know what steps have been taken by the DDA for the rehabilitation of the people who have been rendered “shelter-less”.
In a separate notice to the Delhi police, the Commission has asked for the details of the officers responsible for the execution of the demolition and a list of the officials who ordered “lathi-charge” on children and women along with reasons for the same. It has also written to the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) to provide it with the details of the court order following which the shelter was set up.
The women panel also asked the DUSIB what steps it had taken to prevent the demolition which was carried out yesterday and what have they done to rehabilitate the displaced residents.