Anand District Collector said that including illegal occupation and illegal construction, bulldozers are also being run on the bushes standing on the side of the roads because the miscreants were hiding in these bushes after pelting stones on the Ram Navami procession. Congress called the campaign unconstitutional and a violation of human rights.
Ahmedabad: After the communal violence on the day of Ram Navami in Khambhat town of Gujarat’s Anand district, the administration on Friday launched a bulldozer to remove illegal occupation from Shakarpura area.
The administration termed it as an anti-encroachment drive to remove the structures built on government land in Khambhat.
Significantly, on April 10, stones were pelted on the Ram Navami procession passing through Muslim-dominated Shakarpura area. Police had to use tear gas shells to control the crowd after several shops and vehicles were torched and an elderly man was killed in the violence.
Earlier, BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh have also seen such action after communal violence, where the constructions of the accused were demolished saying that proper procedure was not followed for them.
Anand Collector MY Dakshin said that including illegal occupation, illegal construction of wood and concrete, bulldozers are also being run on the bushes standing along the roads because the miscreants were hiding in these bushes after pelting stones on the procession on Ram Navami.
Dakshin said, ‘The miscreants attacked the procession hiding under the cover of bushes. That’s why we have decided to remove roadside bushes and illegal occupation of government land in Shakarpura. This campaign will continue till the entire area is cleared.
He said that on the first day, with the help of bulldozers and tractors, six-seven illegal constructions were demolished, some of which belonged to the accused.
According to Hindustan Times, at least eight to 10 alleged illegal shops and other constructions were vandalized in Khambhat city, where two communities clashed on April 10.
Officials say that all the shops and buildings that were demolished by the district administration on Friday did not belong to those accused of violence.
“Most of the illegal shops and properties that are being demolished belong to the accused, who are being probed for their role in the violence,” a state government official said on condition of anonymity.
Reacting to the administration’s campaign, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) spokesperson Dr. Rutvij Patel said, ‘The government has taken action against illegal encroachers in Khambhat. This action should not be linked to Ram Navami violence, but if it is so for logic, then the government’s action shows that no one can escape it by breaking the law.’
Meanwhile, Congress MLAs Ghiyasuddin Sheikh and Imran Khedawala called the campaign unconstitutional and a violation of human rights.
Both the MLAs spoke to Revenue Minister Rajendra Trivedi over phone and requested to stop the campaign immediately. He alleged that the collector has started this campaign without following the prescribed procedure.
The legislators of the opposition party jointly issued a statement saying that the owners of these properties should have been given notices first and then given an opportunity to present their documents and evidence regarding the legality of the construction.
Significantly, after stone pelting on Ram Navami procession in Shakarpura on April 10, there was a clash between two communities in Khambhat. Apart from this, people of two different communities pelted stones at each other in Himmatnagar town of Sabarkantha district.
Anand Superintendent of Police Ajit Rajian had earlier said that the violence in Khambhat town was part of a conspiracy by the ‘sleeper module’ to establish Muslim influence in the town.
The police have so far arrested 11 people in this regard.
According to The Hindu, the police have registered several FIRs for their alleged involvement in the riots and arrested over 30 people, including some clerics, who were said to be pre-planned by the police.
Let us inform that earlier the houses of the accused were demolished by the government and the district administration after a violent clash between two communities during the procession on Ram Navami in Khargone, Madhya Pradesh.
The administration said that the above constructions were made illegally by the accused by encroaching. But, later a case came to the fore that the house which was demolished as illegal was built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana.
(with input from news agency language)
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