RPF faces resistance in evicting slums on railway land

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Burdwan (WB), Jan 18 (PTI) The Railway ProtectionForce faced resistance with bombs being thrown when they wentto evict two slums on railway land near the Burdwan RailwayStation in Burdwan district today.

RPF sources said that bombs were hurled from the slumsafter 10 to 15 shanties and a Trinamool Congress party officewere demolished.

Proper notification had been issued to the residentsof the slums in Colony No 14 and Goalpukur by the AreaEngineering Construction Department (AECD) of the Railways onJanuary 12, the sources said.

The sources said that help had been sought for theeviction drive from the administration, but none was received.

Additional Superintendent of Police Debashish Sarkarsaid that the AECD had sought help for the eviction, but itcould not be provided as sufficient time had not been given.

Burdwan Municipality chairman and local councillor,Ainul Haque alleged that the AECD had not given proper noticefor the eviction drive which was for the benefit of an EC teamof police officers who were scheduled to visit the district.

He claimed that the slum dwellers had agreed tocooperate for the eviction on promise of rehabilitation byRailway Minister Mamata Banerjee, but the RPF had arrivedwithout giving proper rehabilitation.

Bustee Kalyan Samitee member Lakshmi Bibi alleged thatthe RPF beat up women and children and threw out belongingsfrom the slum, besides molesting women.

She claimed that that Trinamool Congress workers haddistributed forms among the residents for Rs 100 each and hadpromised rehabilitation.

She also alleged that the Trinamool Congress hadsupplied bombs to the RPF men, who threw them.

Another section of slum dwellers, however, counteralleged that an anti-social Khokon Sen, who had links with themunicipality chairman had attacked the RPF with bombs and beatup people.

The RPF sources said that the eviction drive had beenhalted following the resistance and the higher authorities ofthe railways informed.

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