Haryana Nuh
In the past four days, over 350 shanties and 50 cement structures have been demolished in Haryana's Nuh | File photo: Twitter/ANI

Haryana violence: After 4 days of bulldozing, HC stops govt demolition drive

Four days of intensive bulldozer action came to an end on Monday (August 7) when the Punjab and Haryana High Court halted the demolition drive undertaken by the Haryana government in the wake of communal riots in Nuh district a week ago.

The court of Justice G S Sandhawalia took up the matter suo motu.

Following the court order, Deputy Commissioner Dhirendra Khadgata asked officials to stop the demolition of what the government has claimed to be “illegal” constructions, some of which were allegedly used by rioters to pelt stones at a Vishva Hindu Parishad procession last week.

The ensuing communal riots sparked tension in Nuh, quickly spread to Gurugram, claimed six lives, and led to massive damage to property. Soon after, the Haryana government started demolishing both permanent and impermanent structures, including shops and shanties, saying these “illegal constructions” were being razed to “establish peace”.

Also read: Haryana: Motorcycle-borne men vandalise shops in Panipat; bulldozer action continues

“A demolition drive against illegal construction is underway and it will continue. Action is not being taken to target anyone. Our motive is to establish peace,” Khadgata was quoted as saying on Sunday.

In the past four days, over 350 shanties and 50 cement structures have been demolished, with many politicians alleging that it targeted Muslims. Many whose homes were razed claimed they got no notice either.

Hyderabad MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi had hit out at the Haryana government in a tweet.

“Confidence building means buildings, homes and medical shops and shanties of one community (Muslims) should be demolished without following due process to give collective punishment,” he had tweeted.

“The @mlkhattar government has usurped the rights of Courts of Law. Confidence is being given to people who are ideologically closer to BJP/Sangh,” Owaisi’s tweet added.

Also read: Haryana | No mastermind behind violence, culprits being identified, arrested: Nuh SP

A four-member delegation from the CPI was also barred from entering Nuh on Sunday. “The police are not allowing even us. That means under this rule, even the freedom of movement is prohibited. Hooligans, goons, and fascists can move freely,” said CPI MP Binoy Viswam.

Several parts of Nuh and its surrounding areas continue to remain in the grip of tension, with curfew still imposed in many places and paramilitary forces doing the rounds to prevent any fresh flare-up.

The curfew was relaxed for four hours on Monday morning and banks and ATMs were opened. However, the internet ban continues to remain in force.

Over 150 people have been arrested in connection with the riots and 56 cases registered, Nuh police have said.

(With agency inputs)

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