Hundreds brave chill after anti-encroachment drive in Delhi

New Delhi, Dec 13: Hundreds of squatters were forced to spend the cold winter night out in the open in west Delhi after their hutments were demolished in an anti-encroachment drive, but an infant's suffocation death at the time remained a mystery.

According to witnesses, the six months old baby died when a heap of clothes fell on him even before the demolition drive began on Saturday afternoon on the encroached railway land in Shakur Basti.


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: "Railway demolished 500 slums today (Saturday) in such cold. A child died. God will never forgive them."

After visiting the spot around 2 a.m. on Sunday, he said: "Coming back from the demolition site. Heart rending scenes. How cud our own countrymen do this to our poorest fellow countrymen."

"Suspended two SDMs (sub-divisional magistrates) and one SE (superintending engineer) for not providing relief," the chief minister said in another tweet.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Pushpendra Kumar said it was not a demolition but an "anti-encroachment drive" by the railways.

"It was an anti-encroachment drive on railway land... it was not a demolition," the officer told IANS.


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