Representative image of a house demolition using bulldozerCredit: PTI Photo


The demolition of the house of Wakeel Hassan, who led the operation to rescue the workers trapped in a tunnel in Uttarakhand three months ago, by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) last week has many unseemly dimensions. Hassan and other rat-hole miners who saved the lives of 41 persons were heroes then.

The nation had profusely thanked them for the operation that they undertook, risking their lives. But the DDA did not remember it when it sent bulldozers to raze his house in North-East Delhi’s Khajoori Khas area where he has lived with his family for over 10 years. The house was demolished without notice, and Hassan and his family spent the night on the street. He was taken to the police station and his children were reportedly ill-treated.

Hassan told the police when they came for the demolition that he was Wakeel Hassan who helped rescue the workers in Uttarakhand. But he says, “they only heard my name, not my work.”

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