Why Haldwani encroachment protest being compared with Shaheen Bagh?

Thousands of residents of Uttarakhand’s Banbhulpura area launched a satyagraha to protest against removing encroachments from railway land in compliance with the High Court’s order.

The protesters said that removing the encroachment would render them homeless and jeopardize the future of their school-going children.

Haldwani encroachment protest

As per the media reports, Nainital district officials have said that a total of 4,365 encroachments will be removed from the area, which was built illegally on land belonging to the railways. Soon after the court’s order, residents of the area took to the streets to protest against the verdict.

Media reports say that the process of demolishing several small structures illegally built on railway land has already started. The occupants have been given seven days to vacate the premises or action will be taken by the authorities.

While the residents of the complex claim that the land belongs to them for almost a decade, the Railways told the court that none of the encroachers could produce documents proving that it was their property. Moreover, the state government also decided not to interfere in the decision of the Railways.

Rajendra Singh, Railway PRO, Izzat Nagar told The Indian Express, “About 10 days ago, the High Court’s decision came to remove all encroachments on railway land in Haldwani. There are 4,365 encroachments and we will give notice tomorrow (Sunday) through local newspapers. Occupants will be given seven days to shift; After that, we will take action.”

AICC approached Supreme Court

Addressing a press conference here, All India Congress Committee (AICC) secretary Kazi Nizamuddin said residents of the area, led by Congress MLA from Haldwani Sumit Hridayesh, approached the Supreme Court challenging the high court order.

He said the apex court would hear the matter on January 5. The Congress also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami to take a humane approach to the issue as 4,500 people would be rendered homeless by removing the encroachment from the land.

“They have been living in this area for 70 years. There is a mosque, temple, overhead water tank, a PHC, sewer line laid in 1970, two inter colleges and a primary school, said Nizamuddin, a former MLA from Mangalore.

“We appeal to the Prime Minister, the Railway Ministry and the Chief Minister to take a humanitarian approach in this matter and stop the removal of so-called encroachments,” he said.

In a letter to the Chief Minister, he stated that over 4,500 families have lived here for more than seventy-eight decades and have electricity connections, house taxes, Jal Sansthan connections, and other residential credentials, the report said.

“In order to spare thousands of families from being wrecked by this one-sided decision, the government should also bring the side of these aggrieved families before the High Court, so that they can be saved from being homeless,” he said in the letter.

Removal of encroachments affects a large number of people

The protesters also claimed that the removal of encroachments would affect a large number of women, children and older people living in the area. One such video of the said protest was shared by Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair, who alleged that around 4,500 families would be rendered homeless due to the move of the government, who had illegally occupied railway land in Haldwani.

He also said that the encroachers of Haldwani (majority Muslims) were organizing a ‘peaceful protest’ in the area and were wondering where they would go with their families if their houses were destroyed.

“It is time for the people of Haldwani to speak up. Raise their voice. Media is supposed to be the voice of the people, but unfortunately the Indian media has become the mouthpiece of the government. The media of any one country has not given the news of this protest.

“Why is the national media silent, there were 20-25 thousand people in the protest. This shows that even the national media is scared to cover the protest. The ‘fourth pillar of democracy’ is not suitable for the national media. They should not be afraid of the government but should speak for the people,” Zubair said in another tweet, describing encroachments on railway land as victims of court eviction orders.

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Haldwani encroachment protest
Haldwani encroachment protest
Haldwani encroachment protest

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