Supreme Court stays demolition of over 4,000 homes in Haldwani (Uttarakhand) on Government land

No stay on the action on encroachment but rehabilitation essential – Supreme Court

New Delhi – On 20th December, the order passed by the High Court of the northern State declared 4,365 (50,000 people) houses adjacent to the railway line in Haldwani’s Banbhulpura colony “illegal” and therefore, to be demolished has been stayed by SC. The SC observed that those families had been staying there for a very long; how can they evacuate in 7 days ? SC has also forbidden any construction or development work, although there was no stay on the HC order, it clarified.

(Credit : India Today)

1. The petitioners have been claiming that the land was with them since prior to Independence. They were given the land on lease. Still, the Government was claiming the land, and the railway too was claiming it.

2. Uttarakhand and Railway Administration claim that the people living on the land had not demanded rehabilitation. The land was needed for development and providing amenities for the railway.

3. After the Uttarakhand High Court’s order, the people started agitation prior to the construction activities. Marches were taken out.  In a mosque in this area, hundreds of citizens offered namaz.

95% are Muslims

95% of 4,000 families encroaching on the land of the railway in Banbhulpura in Haldwani were Muslims Before Independence, there used to be a garden, a wood shed and a factory and Muslims from Rampur, Muradabad and Bareilly in UP were living here. Slowly they encroached upon 29 acres of land railways. It has spread over more than a 2 km area. This area has been known as Gaffoor Vasti, Dholak Vasti and Indiranagar. There are 4 Government schools, 11 private schools, 2 overhead water tanks, 10 mosques and 4 temples. (Was the administration sleeping till all these constructions were done ? Such encroachments can be noticed almost all over the nation and removing them has become like fighting battles. This is shameful for Indians. – Editor)

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