In Gujarat, a demolition operation started a fortnight after the Ram Navami clash.
The properties demolished, according to the police, were not linked to any of the suspects in the communal conflicts that occurred in the neighbourhood on April 10.
Following similar crackdowns in Madhya Pradesh and Delhi, the civic body in Gujarat’s Himmatnagar town demolished shacks, kiosks, and a portion of a shop building on Tuesday as part of a “anti-encroachment” drive in a neighbourhood where communal clashes occurred during Ram Navami processions earlier this month.
“In today’s anti-encroachment drive, we removed 3-4 kiosks, 2-3 shanties and a two-storey shop building on T P Road in Chhaparia.”- Navneet Patel, chief municipal officer of Himmatnagar in Sabarkantha district.
“About three metres of the 15-metre road was encroached on by the building owners who had extended the illegal construction. We had sent notices in 2020. It was a routine anti-encroachment drive and nothing to do with the incidents that occurred on April 10. We will continue to take similar action in other areas as well.”- PATEL
The properties demolished, according to the police, were not linked to any of the suspects in the communal conflicts that occurred in the neighbourhood on April 10. “After the city body informed us about the anti-encroachment drive, we organised a police bandobast on Tuesday.” It has nothing to do with the riot suspects, according to Sabarkantha SP Vishal Vaghela.
The Ashrafnagar Jamaat, a local socio-religious organisation in Himmatnagar, owns the two-story structure. “The building included a cigarette shop, an electricity repair shop, and a foods shop,” Kalumiya Shaikh, a member of the jamaat, told The Indian Express. The municipality did, in fact, send us a notification in 2020 about a three-metre extension. Local officials informed us of the initiative on Monday. We assisted them in removing the extended section today.”
During Ram Navami processions in Chhaparia on April 10, communal conflicts erupted, resulting in stone-pelting, rioting, and burning that lasted three hours. To disperse the crowd, police fired multiple tear gas shells and arrested 22 people.
Stone-pelting was recorded in the Vanzaravas area of Himmatnagar on April 11, and police apprehended ten people in the vicinity.
On April 15, five days after communal confrontations occurred during a Ram Navami parade in Khambhat, Gujarat’s Anand, resulting in one person’s death, the district administration undertook an anti-encroachment sweep in the Shakarpur region, demolishing 7-8 kiosks.
Demolition drives in communities affected by communal violence have occurred in MP and Delhi in the recent month.
The local authority demolished at least 20 houses and shops in four communities on April 11, a day after communal confrontations occurred during a Ram Navami parade in Khargone, MP.
Authorities from the BJP-run municipal council demolished parts of multiple structures, including the outer gate of a house of worship, on April 20 in Jahangirpuri, north Delhi, following communal skirmishes during a Hanuman Jayanti parade.
In the run-up to the state elections this year, opposition parties in Uttar Pradesh dubbed Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath “bulldozer baba” after houses were purportedly demolished to target those designated in records as criminals. The BJP went on to win the elections handily.
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