Ghaziabad: Khoda residents concerned about safety after BJP leader’s murder
Until 2016, Khoda had a panchayat system but as its population was found to be over 1 million people, the colony was turned into a municipality.noida Updated: Nov 13, 2017 15:34 IST
Following the murder of a political leader in Khoda in September, residents have raised concerns about their security and safety.
On September 2, when a Bharatiya Janata Party worker Gajendra Bhati was shot dead by two armed assailants. It was alleged that the attack was carried out at the behest of former MLA Amarpal Sharma, who later surrendered before a court and is now lodged in Dasna jail.
Touted as Asia’s largest migrant colony, Khoda will go to polls on November 26 with 1.62 lakh voters set to elect the first chairperson of the municipal body. Until 2016, Khoda had a panchayat system but as its population was found to be over 1 million people, the colony was turned into a municipality.
Ahead of the polls, the area is politically charged with candidates organising rallies in different ‘mohallas’ of Khoda. However, the residents claim that safety is a topic that goes untouched by the parties.
“Earlier, people used to avoid stepping out of their homes after 7pm. That situation has changed now but crimes still take place. Every other day, we hear cases of chain/mobile snatching and robberies,” said Ram Dikshit, a resident of Matrika Nagar, Khoda.
A robbery victim told Hindustan Times that the police action on crimes is not satisfactory.
“On November 2, I had gone with my family to the Ganga banks for a religious ceremony. After we returned, I found that my house was robbed. I lost Rs1 lakh and valuables worth Rs 5-6 lakh. The police registered my complaint but no further action has been taken. It has been more than 10 days now,” said Devendra Kumar, a resident of Khoda.
However, not everyone agrees with the notion that police have been unable to keep Khoda safe. Among them is Kalu Bhai, a local politician. “Khoda has a total of five police chowkis surrounding it and we also have a separate police station. I don’t think security is an issue for Khoda residents,” said Kalu.
Superintendent of police (city), Akash Tomar, said, “Khoda remains a sensitive area for us ahead of the polls as the contest this time is between the wife of a slain leader and the wife of the accused. We will deploy extra force in Khoda during the polls. Also, we have begun patrolling the streets and keeping a watch on anti-social elements.”