Court grants stay against demolition
TWENTY-ONE FAMILIES were saved from being rendered homeless after the High Court granted a stay on Wednesday evening against the demolition being carried out by the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) to raze illegal portions of Al-Azhar, a four-storied building at Khatiwala Tank.india Updated: Jan 27, 2006 23:34 IST
TWENTY-ONE FAMILIES were saved from being rendered homeless after the High Court granted a stay on Wednesday evening against the demolition being carried out by the Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) to raze illegal portions of Al-Azhar, a four-storied building at Khatiwala Tank.
The IMC action came in the wake of a January 24 deadline issued by the Lokayukta for demolishing areas built in violation of the approved site plan.
Earlier, chaos erupted during the demolition with a 200-strong crowd, including women and children, gathering at the site to prevent razing of the upper portions of the building.
The crowd raised slogans against the IMC and denied the Removal Department team access to the upper floors. At least two women residents fainted during the ensuing melee.
The deadlock was finally resolved after a four-hour long impasse when City Engineer (Building Permission) Harbhajan Singh and two Removal staffers was allowed entry around 3 pm.
Thereafter, the exercise continued smoothly and illegal additions on the second and third storey were razed before the stay order.
Trouble began shortly after an IMC demolition team accompanied by a police contingent arrived at Al-Azhar building at 160, Khatiwala Tank around 10.30 am.
Residents of the building’s 21 apartments, populated exclusively by members of the Dawoodi Bohra community, crowded outside the gate upon noticing the squad’s arrival. They were soon joined by Bohras residing in adjoining buildings and the crowd soon swelled to over 200 people.
Although the crowd allowed constructions in the basement, reserved for parking space, to go unhindered passions were inflamed when the removal squad tried to make its way to the upper storeys.
Their path was blocked by male residents while women clambered atop walls and raised slogans. Residents claimed that they had been duped and that the IMC should penalise the builder instead of rendering them homeless.
The standoff continued until 2.30 pm when protesting residents broke off for namaz. An hour after the prayers they finally relented and let City Engineer Hrabhajan Singh and two Removal staffers enter the building.