New Delhi: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today justified Shakur Basti demolition drive and said that notices were served before demolition.
 
“Delhi Police were advised police protection on Dec 12 and notices were given on Dec 10. Also no midnight demolition drive was conducted. Also the child had died before drive as confirmed by Delhi Police,” Prabhu added.
 
“I will invite CM Arvind Kejriwal for a discussion for rehabilitation with a humanitarian approach, may be today itself,” Prabhu mentioned.
 
While justifying the Railway’s stand, the Minister said that encroachments were hazards to safety and environment.
Giving its clarification on the inhuman demolition incident, the Railway Ministry said, “Removal was in the knowledge of DUSIB (Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board) officials. Joint note of police RPF and Railway officials at site indicate that removal was done peacefully.”
 
Regarding a child dying during the demolition drive, as claimed by the people living in Shakur Basti, Railway officials said, “It was noticed that a death of a child had occurred in one of the ‘jhuggies’ in the morning at around 10 am while the encroachment removal started at 11:50 hours under police protection and was completed by the evening. Another notice was given for vacation on 12 Dec 2015”. 
 
Notice was given to vacate before 14 Mar 2015 and later to vacate before 30 Sep 2015. A number of notices were issued to encroachers to vacate land during the last 9 months. 
 
The Shakur Basti demolition drive was conducted to avail land for a new passenger terminal coming up in the area.