Child killed during demolition of 500 shanties by Railway police


New Delhi: Exposing hundreds of people to bitter cold, around 500 shanties in a slum area of west Delhi were demolished on Saturday by the Railway police during an anti-encroachment drive, allegedly leading to the death of a child.

According to the dwellers of Shakur Basti, the girl died when a piece of furniture fell over her during the demolition, which was allegedly carried out without any prior notice or warning.

Denying the charges, the Railways in a statement said that the residents were issued a number of notices to vacate the land where a new passenger terminal was proposed to be built. The girl, the statement said, died before the demolition drive began.

“Death of the child and encroachment drive are not related. According to police records, the child died much earlier,” said Delhi Divisional Railway Manager Arun Arora.

Railways officials are expected to meet Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday on the issue.

Kejriwal, who visited the area late Saturday night, condemned the incident, saying, “This is highly condemnable. God will not forgive them. They (officers involved) should be booked for murder,” adding that the government has suspended three senior officials for failing to provide relief material to the residents.

It should be noted that Kejriwal had promised to replace slums with permanent structures without razing a single home.

He later tweeted: