Infant's death in Shakur Basti: Opposition parties attack Delhi govt

Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken also said that Kejriwal should have "intervened" while the drive was underway yesterday and not afterwards.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 13, 2015, 16:50 PM IST

New Delhi: Opposition parties on Sunday attacked Delhi government over the death of a six-month-old baby in the Shakur Basti area of west Delhi, saying it was "shameful" that no arrangements were made to rehabilitate people who were evicted from the spot as part of a railways demolition drive.

Congress targeted both the ruling APP in Delhi and the Centre for not making "alternative" arrangements for sheltering the evicted and questioned how it was possible that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal was in the dark about the "massive" demolition drive.

Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken also said that Kejriwal should have "intervened" while the drive was underway yesterday and not afterwards.

"It is shameful. Alternative arrangements should have been made before removing them. They were living there for two decades. When the Congress was in power, we never did this.

"It is shameful that both the Centre and the Delhi Chief Minister could not prevent it," he said after a visit to the site of the eviction drive.

The former Union minister also took to twitter to target Kejriwal.

"@ShivAroor @ArvindKejriwal Is it possible-CM never knew earlier about this massive slum demolition? Should've acted before & not after!

"Entire 12 hrs of slum demolition or before- Kejriwal Ji didn't intervene- Pickup the phone to speak to Rail Minister or move to court!," he tweeted.

Meanwhile, even as the ruling AAP has pointed fingers at railways over the death of the child, BJP leader RP Singh insisted that it was the Delhi government which should have arranged for the rehabilitation of the evicted persons through its Slum Board.

But he admitted that railways could have undertaken the evictions post winter.

"Delhi government should have arranged for the rehabilitation of the evicted ones through its Slum Board.

"The board already has 5,000 flats which are vacant. These are supposed to be given to such people," claimed Singh.

He added at the same time that the "railways should have waited another three-four months (for the winter to get over), but Delhi government should immediately act and arrange for flats with its Slum Board".

The death of the infant in Shakur Basti, where a railways demolition drive was carried out by yesterday, triggered an angry reaction from the Kejriwal, who slammed the railways and suspended three officials for "failing to arrange" food for the evicted persons.

While railways today said that the child died at around 10 AM, two hours before the demolition drive began to clear the area of several "fresh encroachments", police said that, prima facie, the death occurred after a heap of clothes fell on the baby.