Arvind Kejriwal meets Suresh Prabhu over Shakur Basti demolition, says no demolition without rehabilitation

Railways had undertaken a demolition drive at Shakur Basti on Satuday removing about 1,200 slums and shops in the area. The drive caused a storm over the death of a child in the area.

Arvind Kejriwal meets Suresh Prabhu over Shakur Basti demolition, says no demolition without rehabilitation

New Delhi: Enraged over a railway demolition drive in West Delhi that is being blamed for the death of a six-month-old infant, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday met Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, and announced that there will be no further slum demolition "without rehabilitation."

According to reports, Prabhu and Kejriwal discussed how people left homeless due to the demolition could be rehabilitated and how public land could be put to use. 

Shortly after the meeting got over, Kejriwal said, “It has been decided that from now on, no slum would be demolished anywhere in Delhi.” 

“First, people living in the slums will be rehabilitated peacefully, then the vacant land will be handed over to the railways,” he added.

“We decided that railways will give us a schedule of the lands it needs to get vacated in the next three or four years in Delhi. The Delhi government, according to its policies, will first rehabilitate the slum dwellers and then give back the land to the railways,” the Delhi CM said.

Also ReadDelhi High Court raps Railways over Shakur Basti demolition, says 'no lessons learnt from past mistakes'

Meanwhile, Delhi High Court issued a notice to Delhi government, Delhi Police and Railways asking to submit step by step information on what was done before taking forward the demolition drive in Shakur Basti.

Slamming the drive, the apex court said that the move was "inhuman" and added that Railways had not learnt from past mistakes.

Earlier in the day, Delhi government blamed the Centre and the Railways terming the demolition drive as an "inhuman" anti-encroachment move.

Suresh Prabhu, Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi were locked in a war of words on over the said issue.

The grieving father of the six-month-old baby insisted that the girl died in the panic caused by the imminent demolition of hutments at Shakur Basti in west Delhi on Saturday where they lived. The autopsy report said the death occurred due to head and chest injuries besides shock. 

Prabhu told the Lok Sabha this was untrue and that the child died before the railways started pulling down the hutments they said were built illegally on railway land to make way for new rail lines.

Since the demolition, the hutment dwellers are living in the open, at the site, under canvas tents. Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) said it was determined to provide food and shelter to the poor.

Also ReadShakur Basti demolition: Case lodged in toddler's death; slugfest between political parties intensifies

On Monday, accompanied by Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken, Rahul Gandhi met the displaced men, women and children and vowed to fight for their rights.

Gandhi said: "We will try to help you... We will fight for you... We will raise the issue in parliament."

Gandhi's office tweeted that both the central and Delhi governments were to blame for the Saturday demolition. "Now they are busy blaming each other. Instead, they should provide help to the people who have been displaced and rehabilitate them."

Kejriwal promptly hit back, saying Gandhi was a "kid" who did not know that the railways which carried out the razing was controlled by the central, not Delhi, government. 

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. You can find out more by clicking this link