Delhi Slum Demolition: Suresh Prabhu Claims Baby Was Killed Before Shakur Basti Evacuation Drive

14/12/2015 12:50 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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NEW DELHI, INDIA - DECEMBER 13: Stranded people sit near their demolished shanties after more than 500 slums were demolished last night in an anti-encroachment drive conducted by the Indian Railways at Shakur Basti, on December 13, 2015 in New Delhi, India. Slum residents created uproar after a child was found dead. They alleged that the child had died in the anti-encroachment drive. Railway denied the allegations, saying that the death of the child occurred in one of the slums and had nothing to do with the removal of encroachments. (Photo by Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Enraged over the demolition drive that has allegedly cause the death of a six-month-old infant, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday has sought a meeting with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu to discuss the issue in detail. The demolition drive was carried out by railway ministry in the Shakur Basti area in West Delhi, and railways officials have claimed that "adequate notice was given to the locals."

The baby girl allegedly suffocated and died after a heap of clothes fell on her and the parents did not realise that she was under it.

According to the latest updates, however, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu reiterated his statement in the Lok Sabha, saying that the six-month-old child had died before the demolition in Shakur Basti and not during the drive.

"The child died much before the demolition drive began and the encroachers did not vacate the place despite repeated notices. Such encroachments are the main source of garbage and safety hazard. Will meet Delhi Chief Minister today to discuss tackling encroachment in other areas too," Prabhu said in his statement.

Also Read: Shakur Basti Dwellers Freezing In Extreme Cold After Slum Demolition

However, BJP politician Venkaiah Naidu, Minister for Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation has condemned the fact the the evacuation procedure took place during the harsh Delhi winter.

Riding on the wave of the controversy, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi visited the Shakur Basti slums on Monday.

He questioned why the AAP leaders were doing a dharna on the issue, when it was the state government that was to be blamed.

AAP leaders were quick to mock and respond with acerbic comments, pointing that the Railway Ministry was a part of the Central Government and not the State Government.

Even CM Kejriwal could not resist calling him a baccha (child).

On Sunday, when Kejriwal met the railway officials as well as visited Shakur Basti, he said he was unhappy with the official response. He had also demanded that a murder case be registered against the officers who were responsible for the demolition which caused the child's death.

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