Slums behind Rahul Gandhi’s house give police sleepless nights

July 28th, 2008 - 2:47 pm ICT by IANS  

By Mayank Aggarwal
New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) Delhi Police wants a slum cluster located in the high security Tughlak Road area, where the home of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi is located, to be removed as they pose a security risk to the high profile residents there. The police have written a letter to the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), asking them to remove around 300 shanties, inhabited by about 1,500 people, located just behind Gandhi’s house in Tughlak Road.

“We have sent a letter to the NDMC asking to remove the slum cluster from Tughlak Road area as soon as possible,” said a senior Delhi Police official on condition of anonymity.

“The shanties are in the back lanes of houses of various Members of Parliament and other VVIPs. The slum has a population of nearly 1,500 people,” the police official added.

Their presence has been giving sleepless nights to security agencies that are working overtime to maintain security.

“Some shanties are just behind the house of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s 12, Tughlak Lane. Their records are maintained and regularly updated. Though nothing major has happened yet, their presence poses a major security problem,” the official told IANS, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Most of those living in these slums are working as domestic helps and maids in the houses of MPs in the area.

“We have repeatedly sent reminders to the civic agency regarding this but they have not taken any action so far,” the official added.

The director public relations of NDMC, Anand Tiwari, told IANS: “We have deposited the money (for relocation of the slums) with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. As soon as they provide us with the land, we will relocate the slum cluster.”

The ‘mukhiya’ (leader) of the slum, Chiddan Lal, said that their “records are clean”.

“I am living here since 1978 and today more than 1,500 people live here. Our record has been clean throughout,” said Lal.

The inhabitants of the slums don’t have any problems with being relocated, but want to be shifted to a nearby place.

“We understand the concerns of the security agencies and we don’t want to have any problem with the police,” Lal added.

“We only want the authorities to relocate us to a nearby area like Jasola or Neb Sarai, so that we can continue working here to earn our living. Otherwise many people living here will lose their jobs,” he said.

“We have written to the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, the chief minister of Delhi and the MCD. Months have passed but we have not heard anything from them,” he added.

“We don’t want to fight with the establishment, we only want them to look at our concerns,” he stated

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