THE COUNTDOWN for the tenants of Raja of Mahmudabad has begun.
On Thursday even as the district magistrate and the SSP gave the to-be-evicted occupants the last warning to vacate premises, the latter once again urged the erstwhile Raja to reconsider his decision.
“We have an action plan ready and would implement the Supreme Court order in letter and spirit,” said district magistrate Ramendra Tripathi immediately after holding a meeting with the tenants of Mahmudabad on the issue. To a question whether the administration had also drawn up a rehabilitation package for evacuees some of whom can barely afford two square meals a day, the DM replied in the negative.
Refusing to disclose the details of the action plan, the DM said the action would be both swift and simultaneous if the tenants did not cooperate and vacate their premises by August 25. The DM said that with this the process to implement the apex court’s directives had in fact, already begun. “This is because we have to submit a compliance report before the SC by August 31,” he pointed out.
The Hazratganj Traders’ Association (HTA) earlier held a Press conference during which the affected shopkeepers said all they wanted was an audience with the scion of the Mahmudabad. “So far our dialogue has been restricted to his (Raja’s) legal counsel. We are confident that an amicable solution to the issue can easily be arrived at if we sit across the table with Raja Mohd Amir Khan,” said Harish Kapoor, who was part of the delegation that had gone to meet the Raja in New Delhi recently.
“I have been living as a tenant in the Mahmudabad Mansion since 1955. On November 3, 1965 we received a letter from the Raja of Mahmudabad informing us that owing to the Defense of India Rules under which his properties were declared as enemy property, he would be unable to pay any bills for electricity or water for the same,” said Satish Kumar Agarwal. He said since the premises was legally let out to him by the father of the present scion of Mahmudabad, the latter should acknowledge the same and the SC order should not be applied to him.
The HTA president Kishinchand Bhambhwani said some of the tenants were so poor that they could not even afford to hire a lawyer to argue their case.