Thursday, 11 January 2018 | PNS | Haridwar-
Despite allegations about a 10-month child having died when left exposed to cold following the anti-encroachment drive carried out by the district police, the authorities continued to demolish the illegal constructions inhabited by the wage earners near Sector 2 barrier of the BHEL township for the third consecutive day on Wednesday.
While some of the residents claimed that a child had died, it could not be verified by the police or the purported witnesses. One of the colony residents said, “Had it been true, that a child succumbed to cold, there must have been outrage by the colony people.”
As in the past, the slum residents staged demonstration at the foundry gate of BHEL, dubbing the drive being conducted when the district is shivering in chilling cold as inhumane. However, leaving nothing to chance, a large reinforcement comprising police and PAC personnel from Ranipur and Jwalapur was deployed to deal with any situation. The people being affected by the drive erupted in anger when this correspondent talked to them, saying that the same leaders who vowed for their well being while seeking votes have unleashed the JCBs on them.
Beena, whose house was demolished in the anti-encroachment drive, said that it was insensitive on the part of the administration to embark on the demolition drive when the mercury level is dropping to the low of 2 degree Celsius in the night. “Besides, they sent no prior notification about the approaching drive. We did not even imagine that such a thing could happen to us at this time of the year,” she lamented.
The Senior Superintendent of Police Krishna Kumar VK said that the drive when initiated would be brought to its conclusion. “There is no question of stopping midway. However, we are seeing to it that no one dies due to cold. We are arranging for more wood stoves for the people to beat the chill,” he said.
Haridwar District Magistrate Deepak Rawat said that temporary shelter was being provided by BHEL to the drive-affected people.
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