Protesting the demolition drive of an unauthorised colony by the local administration, Surya Narayan Prasad (45), a resident of Anand Vihar Colony in Delhi’s Pooth Khurd village in Bawana committed suicide by pouring an unidentified chemical on himself. Prasad was said to be under mental pressure after the local administration informed the residents about the proposed demolition. At least 20 houses were razed down by a team led by the District Magistrate.
Local residents alleged that Prasad had refused to vacate the house. Subsequently, police personnel rushed to Prasad’s home to take him out. Enraged by the action, Prasad doused himself with an unidentified substance.
Later, he was rushed to Maharishi Valmiki Hospital where he died after a brief spell of treatment.
Alpana, the wife of the victim told Newsclick that police officials responded too late to the entire episode and her pleas were unaddressed. She said, “I had told them to take my husband to hospital but police personnel took 35 minutes and let him die.”
Later, Alpana too was admitted to Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar Medical College and Hospital after she fainted multiple times.
The residents of the colony complained that the demolition drive was conducted in a brazen manner.
Basanti, who had been living in the colony for the past 35 years, alleged that they were served a notice regarding the demolition only four days ago. She said, “I have been living in this community for 35 years. I am a widow and my son depends on me. I built this house with hard-earned savings. Now, they have demolished this house. Where should I go? Even a person living on rent is given one-month notice to vacate the house.” Another lady added that majority of the residents were daily wage labourers and the action had pushed them into uncertainty. She said, “Soon after the demolition, they even started picking up the debris. My children study here. With no home, how will they study.”
Asked about rehabilitation and compensation, they denied having been given any assurance by the district administration. Abhishek Kumar, a local activist who has been associated with the case, said, “A plea was pending before court and hearing was scheduled for Saturday. The administration did not wait for the court’s decision too.”
This reporter tried reaching the District Magistrate through phone and e-mail but did not get any response. The story will be updated if we receive a response.
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