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On Saturday night, at least 500 slums of West Delhi were demolished by the Indian Railways to clear any encroachment on railway tracks. This left hundreds roofless throughout the winter night. A 6-month-old child died allegedly after a heap of clothes fell on her, the Police reported. No case has been filed as of yet.
However, a Railway spokesperson said that the child died two hours before the demolition actually began. “It was an illegal encroachment. We were well within the law to demolish the shanties. The SHO Punjabi Bagh got a call at 10 am informing him about the child’s death. The demolition drive took place after that. We should wait for post-mortem report,” he said.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal responded to the incident by suspending two Sub-Divisional Magistrates and a senior official for failing to arrange food and shelter for those who were left helpless on the streets after the slums were demolished. Visiting the families affected, he announced relief efforts to help the over 2500 people displaced and slammed the Indian Railways.
The Logical Indian community applauds the swift reaction of the Delhi Government and hopes that the people evicted due to the demolition swiftly get the food and shelter they desperately need. We hope the post-mortem report of the deceased baby – which is yet to be released – will clear all hassles between the Indian Railways and State Government. In the future, it will be beneficial if the Railways informed residents well beforehand and ensured their safe relocation before carrying out a demolition.