Faridabad resumes demolitions in Khori village after a day’s halt

  • The police said that the demolition process remained peaceful. Around 2,000 police personnel were deployed in Khori village on Sunday.
A woman loiters near the debris of her house after local authorities razed a settlement that was said to be in a forest land in Khori village at Faridabad. (AFP)
A woman loiters near the debris of her house after local authorities razed a settlement that was said to be in a forest land in Khori village at Faridabad. (AFP)
Published on Jul 19, 2021 06:04 AM IST
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By, Hindustan Times, Faridabad

Faridabad authorities resumed the ongoing demolition drive in Khori village, which was suspended on Saturday, a day after Indian authorities replied to the United Nations Human Rights Council over a statement released by its six special rapporteurs that called for the drive to be halted.

Last month, the Supreme Court directed the Haryana government and the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad to remove “all encroachments”, consisting of around 10,000 residential units, in the Aravalli forest area, saying “land grabbers cannot take refuge in the rule of law” and talk of “fairness”.

On Friday, experts from the United Nations Human Rights Council called on India to halt the eviction of around 100,000 people, including 20,000 children, from Khori village in Faridabad, which began last Wednesday, and said “it is particularly important residents be kept safe during the pandemic”.

In response, the Permanent Mission of India to the Office of the United Nations issued a statement on Saturday, saying, “It is unfortunate that the special rapporteurs have chosen to issue a press release just two days after sending a joint communication to this Mission and not waiting for a response.”

The police said that the demolition process remained peaceful. Around 2,000 police personnel were deployed in Khori village on Sunday.

Garima Mittal, the commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad, said the demolition drive was recorded through drone cameras.

The deputy commissioner of Faridabad, Yashpal Yadav, said, “We have started full-scale demolition and we are implementing the Supreme Court orders in letter and spirit. All structures will be demolished as per the orders and not just those that have been vacated. The drive is being conducted peacefully and we have not faced any challenge so far, except people not cooperating.”

Meanwhile, social activists and residents alleged that situation has worsened in Khori village and that there has been no let-up in the demolitions even after the United Nations’ experts urged an immediate halt.

“On Sunday, demolitions started from the Durga temple side, and the number of police deployed there is much higher than what we had seen until now. They have encircled Khori Gaon from all sides and are restricting movement in and out. Volunteers and residents from Khori who have been distributing food are now stuck in this police blockade. They are not being allowed to leave,” said Neelesh Kumar, a social activist with Basti Suraksha Manch.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Leena Dhankhar has worked with Hindustan Times for five years. She has covered crime, traffic and excise. She now reports on civic issues and grievances of residents.

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