Tension at Kathputli Colony; residents allege police beating
New Delhi: Once again there was tension at the Kathputli Colony in Central Delhi as the residents claimed that they were beaten by police. The Delhi Police claimed that they have just used tear gas to disperse the crowd. The residents claimed that the incident took place in the morning when the police officers had come to the colony and said that they have to move out which soon led to the protest after which police used force on them. "We were beaten severely by the police and one eight-year-old child was injured," said Arjun, a resident of the colony.
He further claimed that police forcibly pulled us out of our home. Police also beat up other residents who refused to move out of their homes.However, police officials denied the allegations of the locals. Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Mandeep Singh Randhawa said that they have used no force on them only tear gas was used ."There was no lathi-charge on the residents. No casualty was reported," said Randhawa.
Amid allegations of forceful eviction of Kathputli Colony residents, Delhi Development Authority (DDA) has claimed to resettle the entire lot in newly constructed transit camps within the next couple of months.
The Authority said that despite witnessing protests by a section, they have ensured shifting of more than one-third families and talks are on to ensure shifting of the remaining families too. "To start the project, we need the entire land vacant. As around 1,150 families have been shifted to the make-shift camp located in nearby Anand Parbat area, we hope to reclaim other parts and to start out leveling work there," said DDA official.The Colony residents, however, are divided over the issue. Some of the Colony residents vented their ire at the media and NGO workers for allegedly disrupting their development.Around 2,641 families were living in the colony.
According to residents evacuation is being taken without proper consent. "Earlier, they just came here and started sending out notices. None of the residents had time to go through the notice and then they came with a heavy police force. There are many who want to shift, but they would come on their own accord and should not be forced. Shockingly their move is still going on," said a resident.