Eight jhuggis were yesterday demolished at Chhota Nagar near Ghuggi Pahalwan area in Shahdara exactly at the time when Kejriwal was taking oath at Ramlila Maidan as the new chief minister of Delhi.
“Just see the brutality of the officers. They not only smashed up our household things and abused us, but also women constables manhandled us and did not even spare our small children,” alleged Vijaywati (30) who was protesting along with 40 others in front of the CM’s residence this morning.
Local police, however, said that these people were trying to build jhuggis on government land and the police personnel just stopped them from doing so when informed.
“In fact, police never demolishes any construction on its own. It is the job of land owning agency. Our role is limited to providing security during any such drive to maintain law and order,” said a senior police official.
Several dwellers were allegedly left injured during the incident.
The protesters also hit out at local AAP MLA Ram Nivas Goyal.
“A day before the drive, a few policemen came to meet Goyal. We were sure that he would pitch in our favour. But next day, our jhuggis were demolished,” said an anguished person.
According to sources, the chief minister was also informed about the incident by party volunteers who took up the matter with the local MLA and asked him to look into it. The protest was then called off.
Goel said, “These jhuggis came up just a day before the polls. The local people complained to me as well as the police about the issue on February 13. The police went there including the ACP and SHO and I intervened to stop the demolition.”
He added, “Yesterday, even when the police picked them up, I ensured their release and asked them to meet at 4 PM. They did not turn up and instead protested outside Kejriwal’s house today.”
In his pre-poll rallies, Kejriwal promised not to erase even a single jhuggi across the city, and to provide them with in-situ rehabilitation in five years.