Shakur Basti: Stories from the rubble

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 24, 2015 17:10 IST
People sit near their demolished houses an anti-encroachment drive conducted by the Indian Railways at Shakur Basti in New Delhi. (Arvind Yadav/HT Photo)

On December 12, Northern Railways razed the illegal settlement of Shakur Basti, which sat in the safety zone along railway tracks in north-west Delhi.

Sprawled over 34,800 sq km, the settlement was home to 775 households, huddled across several clusters with large open spaces in between. Most of the basti today, however, is covered in the rubble of demolished jhuggis.

Tragically, it is alleged that in the chaos of the demolition drive, a pile of clothes fell on a six-month-old child, suffocating her to death.

The row over the toddler’s death became a political flashpoint between the Aam Aadmi Party-led Delhi government and the Railways department which comes under the central government. In a sharply-worded statement, the Delhi high court rapped Railways for demolishing the jhuggi clusters in the month of December, leaving residents stranded in the biting cold.

Amid the blame game and the political bickering, HT talks to angry residents who lost their homes. Read the full story here.

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