Demolition drive in Delhi's Kathputli Colony: Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas? Question is... Kiske Saath, Kiska Vikas
The current situation in Kathputli colony dire. Only 400 houses remain standing out of 3000 houses in total. The Delhi Development Authority has carried out a forced eviction and demolition drive for the last two days, without any notices being handed out to the residents. The residents were abused, women were lathicharged, children were manhandled and men were beaten up by the police whose role was to only protect the officials and the ones working the bulldozers.
There were cases of children going missing in the chaos that was generated due to the presence of the police. A 5 year old child, a journalist, Kshitij (journalist from The Quint) was also jailed with other alleged trouble-makers who were held captive for over 8 hours in Ranjit Nagar police station. The current state of affairs is such that hundreds of children have no access to schools anymore. If this is not rectified immediately, an entire generation of citizens will be left with no skills or opportunities to survive on their own.
Kathputli colony houses some of the most renowned artists from across the country, the colony housed a large number of diverse communities who practiced an equally diverse number of art forms. They have lived in that colony for almost 70 years without their right to that land ever being questioned and they are a huge attraction to both national and international art platforms. How can the government dismiss their existence so easily?
The residents who are now on the roads with their belongings will have to brave the cold without the safety of their homes, guarantee of food, water and toilets, they have nowhere to go, no means to earn money, the government has taken no steps to soften the blow of displacement, which is as per usual. How can citizens of this country be treated with such brutality in the capital of the country itself? How can the police, whose duty is it to protect the people, rain lathis and tear gases on the very same people? We cannot allow them to get away with this injustice.
This kind of inhuman treatment at the hands of a so called democratic government will not be tolerated. Delhi Solidarity Group condemns this lack of sensitivity, the obvious corruption of parties involved in the demolition and the treatment that has been meted out to the residents of the Colony. The government’s tag, “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” fell short again today and its method, vision and mission is unacceptable.
Source: Himshi Singh's FB timeline