Jahangirpuri demolition victims still struggle to tide over losses
A month since their shops were razed by the NDMC, residents of northwest Delhis Jahangirpuri still struggle to overcome their losses.While several shopkeepers in the C block area said they have received dry ration and carts, people living along the street where a mosque is situated and where communal clashes broke out on April 16, claimed that they have received no help or support from anyone.Abu Samad, 45, whose paan shop was bulldozed last month, has been devastated since.
While several shopkeepers in the C block area said they have received dry ration and carts, people living along the street where a mosque is situated and where communal clashes broke out on April 16, claimed that they have received no help or support from anyone.
Abu Samad, 45, whose ‘paan’ shop was bulldozed last month, has been devastated since. His misery is peculiarly compounded in light of his 17-year-old son’s neurological condition. “I had two carts and both were destroyed by bulldozers. My 17-year-old son is a neurological patient and I have been running from pillar to post to get his treatment done. “He underwent neurosurgery twice at AIIMS and is still suffering. Last month when bulldozers arrived in this area and destroyed my carts, I was busy running around the hospitals for my son,” Samad said.
Another resident, Zameela, who owned a clothes shop along the street of the mosque, claimed to have received no assistance either. “Nobody even came and asked about the troubles we are facing. I had taken a loan of Rs 3 lakh for my shop and I don’t know how I will clear that debt. People who came to extend help went inside gullies and gave dry ration to a few and carts to a few others,” Zameela said. “Nobody took stock of the shops that were demolished along the road of the mosque, where people suffered maximum losses.” Several concrete and temporary structures in Jahangirpuri were brought down last month as a part of an “anti-encroachment” drive by the BJP-ruled North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), days after the neighbourhood was rocked by communal violence.
Crushed by the losses, Sheikh Akbar, 38, who sold soft drinks from a cart, had to cancel his children's tuition. “My soft drinks cart along with three refrigerators was destroyed by bulldozers. I suffered losses of more than Rs 1 lakh. Two of my three children are school students. “I’ve stopped their tuition as I have no money to pay for it. Situation is still very difficult and we haven’t received any major help, except for some dry ration that saw us through for a month,” Akbar said.
In the immediate aftermath of the demolition drive, several political leaders from Congress, TMC, CPIM and AIMIM had visited Jahangirpuri’s C-block and had called the exercise politically motivated. Seventy-year-old Feroza Bibi, whose son lost his cart, held the “blame games” of politicians responsible for their sufferings. “Politicians did not help us during the coronavirus lockdown, so how can we expect them to help us during this crisis? All they can do is play blame games and label us Bangladeshis,” she said.
Police deployment continues to remain in place even a month after communal clashes. Nearly 30 people have been arrested in the case so far.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)