Rahul Gandhi visits slums, warns govt against demolition drive

New Delhi, Nov 27: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday visited the Rangpuri Pahadi slums in the city and warned the Centre against further such move, saying "if they want to use the bulldozer again, let them drive it over my body".

Vowing to fight for the poor who were left homeless after Tuesday's demolition drive, Rahul said, "What is happening here is completely wrong and the Congress party is not going to leave this issue. They have won this time, but if they want to use the bulldozer again, let them drive it over my body."

Rahul Gandhi visits slums, warns govt

The Congress Vice President reached the Rangpuri Pahadi slums on the southern edge of Vasant Kunj, where demolition of around 900 housing units has rendered thousands homeless, around 8 PM and spent around half-an-hour with the residents and listened to their woes.

"Winter is here. It is getting colder these days and the poor people have been picked up and thrown out of their homes. They were not given any warning. This is being done by the government here, the Congress party will fight for the poor," he told reporters amid a near-stampede like situation in Rangpuri Pahadi slums.

The Congress vice president's visit to the area came on a day when the issue reverberated in Parliament. Raising the issue in Rajya Sabha, CPI(M) member T N Seema said 2,000 children have been thrown out in the cold due to the drive.

"Securing trees are important but is it more important than human lives," she said, urging the government to immediately stop the demolition drive. Around 900 jhuggis were demolished on Tuesday by Revenue and Forest departments at Rangpuri hills of Vasant Kunj area of south Delhi.

The drive, which was carried out by a district task force, left many homeless in the capital's harsh winter. A senior Delhi government official had said the drive was part of an effort to restore forest areas.

The people, however claimed that they have been living in the area for decades and they even had documentation such as Aadhar, Voter ID and Ration card.


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