What started as Yogi Adityanath being dubbed as “bulldozer baba” caught on as a trend for being a mode of punishment for those accused in criminal offences, the target majorly being people from the minority community.
The ideology behind demolishing homes of miscreants is ‘an eye for an eye’ but bulldozer injustice is leagues ahead since at the receiving end are people from marginalised communities and they stand to lose their homes over political vendetta. While these demolitions are posed as lawful demolitions of encroachments on government land or illegal constructions, the timing and targets of these demolitions have a different story to tell.
Here’s a look at how the political class used this infamous ‘bulldozer injustice’ and has glorified it for other states to follow in tow. It was mainly pioneered by Yogi Adityanath in Uttar Pradesh followed by Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Delhi as well. For this, the UP Chief Minister has famously earned the moniker “Bulldozer Baba” and he is hailed across party lines for the same.
What has become all the more apparent is that members of the minority Muslim community from economically week backgrounds are the main target of the administration. The same is demonstrated in the following incidents of bulldozer injustice through the year 2022.
On April 20, municipal authorities demolished the entrance gate of a mosque in Jahangirpuri. This is merely an hour Supreme Court ordered to halt demolitions in that area. On April 16, communal violence had erupted after a Bajrang Dal procession on the occasion of Hanuman Jayanti was passing by and clashed with the Muslims as it was going past the mosque. In complete media glare, the bulldozer demolished the mosque gate, despite being made aware of the court’s orders.
On August 2, 2022 the Delhi High Court observed that persons cannot be evicted with a bulldozer at their doorstep “early in the morning or late in the evening” without any notice, rendering them completely shelter less. The plea was filed by Shakarpur Slum Union stating that the 3-day demolition drive conducted without any prior notice by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) officials in the area, demolished around 300 of the huts and shanties. Justice Subramonium Prasad disposed of the writ petition with a direction to the DDA to carry out further demolition only in consultation with the DUSIB. The Court further directed the DDA to give sufficient time to the residents to make alternate arrangements, or, steps should be taken to accommodate the dwellers in the shelters provided by the DUSIB for three months so that the persons, whose jhuggis are being demolished, are able to find some alternate accommodation.
On July 6, 2022 the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) bulldozed over 60 tenements in Gyaspur Basti opposite Sarai Kale Khan, Nizamuddin East, New Delhi. The DDA demolished even the anganwadis but spared a gaushala (cow shelter)! Residents say they have identity documents that make them eligible for staying put in their homes until proper provisions for resettlement are made for them. However, their documents were deemed irrelevant by the DDA authorities who claimed the land of the basti belonged to their department. Therefore, on June 27 the DDA with the Delhi Police carried out demolitions, allegedly without the legally-mandated four weeks’ notice to residents.
On March 31, 2022 UP police brought a bulldozer to the house of two rape accused, Amir and Asif to compel them to surrender. The police claimed that the bulldozer was necessary to conduct the raid to prevent he accused from escaping and stated that the staircase in the house was partly damaged in this exercise. This was admitted by UP Police before the Supreme Court, in an affidavit filed as a counter to the plea filed by Islamic cleric body Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind against such unlawful demolitions.
This story was originally published in sabrangindia.in . Read the full story here