134 houses razed, two mosques next: “Bulldozer Justice” continues

Under the guise of “encroaching on government land”, bulldozers run free, mosques administration granted 15 days to remove the structures or else the Railways will take action.

Since 2014, many reports have surfaced where the government has been selectively sending notices alleging encroachment on railway land. As expected, the receiver of these notices are usually individuals belonging to the minority groups. The said notices are usually accompanied or followed by bulldozers. Approaching the courts is usually the last resort for members of the minority community, and even then there is no guarantee that the government won’t continue with their “bulldozer justice” will the case remains sub-judice. 

In their pursuit of a religious nationalist objective to transform India into a Hindu nation rather than a secular one, the Bharatiya Janata Party administration has used bulldozers frequently since 2014. Bulldozers have been employed in states including Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, and Madhya Pradesh to destroy mosques, madrassas, and the residences of a large number of Muslim activists and those accused of committing crimes on the grounds that they were on government or railway property.

Two centuries old Mosques receives notice to remove encroachments from government land:

Recently, the Railways sent notifications to two-hundred-year-old mosques in the capital city requesting that they “remove the encroachments from its land.” The two mosques, Masjid Bengali Market and Taqia Babar Shah, have been existing on the same land since 250 and 500 years respectively. The two mosques are situated on the main route between New Delhi and Ghaziabad. The administration of two mosques reportedly received notices for “encroaching on railway land,” as provided by the officials. Reportedly, the mosque administrations have been given 15 days to remove the structures, failing which the Railways will take action.

As provided by Siasat Daily, a railway official stated that the two structures against which the Northern Railways (NR) has initiated action are both built on Railways’ land. 

As per Siasat Daily, the notice pasted on mosques reads: “Railway property has been illegally encroached upon. You must voluntarily dismantle any unlicensed structures, including temples, mosques or shrines within 15 days of receiving this notice or the railway administration will take legal action. Encroachments that are not permitted will be removed in compliance with the Railways Act. Any damages incurred throughout the procedure will be your responsibility. The Railway administration won’t be held accountable.” 

As reported by the Siasat Daily, the Officials stated that it is a general practice for the Railways to issue notices to encroachers whenever they come to the attention of the authorities. NR CPRO Deepak Kumar said that the encroachments can pose a safety hazard to railway employees and passengers, and they can also damage railway property.

“The NR is committed to ensuring that railway land is used for its intended purpose, and the removal of encroachments is an important part of this commitment,” Kumar added, as per Siasat Daily. 

The post can be viewed here:

Bulldozers ran over 134 houses, most of them belonging to Muslims

On July 21, in Nainital, Uttarakhand, an extensive operation was conducted by the government which related to the demolition of 135 illegal structures that had been erected on King Mahmudabad’s enemy property. It is essential to note that an enemy property is an immovable asset left behind by people who have taken citizenship of Pakistan and China. Reportedly, most of the demolished structures were owned by Muslims in the Raja Mahmudabad area. Notably, the demolition comes in the wake of an ordinance passed by the state government which has made the provision for a 10-year prison term for those who encroach upon government land.

As per a report by the Print, a total of JCB machines and five companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), along with eighty sub-inspectors and 150 women constables pressed into action for the demolition work. 

It is essential to note here that to contest the said eviction notices by the district administration, the individuals had approached the Uttarakhand High Court. The HC had dismissed their plea and ordered them to vacate the properties immediately. The bench, led by the Chief Justice, refused to grant any relief to the encroachers, paving the way for the demolition process. Consequently, the bulldozers were deployed to the Metropole locality in Nainital city, where the illegal houses were situated.

The exercise began at 8 am on the Saturday morning, and went on for 11 hours. It was carried out under the supervision of nodal officer and Nainital Deputy Collector Shivcharan Dwivedi, SDM Rahul Shah and Superintendent of Police (crime) Jagdish Chandra, as provided by the Print. The removal of encroachments from the Metropole hotel area will help decongest the city, officials provided.

Considered one of the finest hotels of Nainital at one time, the Metropole Hotel belonged to the Raja of Mehmoodabad and hosted the founding father of Pakistan Mohammad Ali Jinnah and his wife Rattanbai on their honeymoon. After partition, the Raja of Mehmoodabad migrated to Pakistan leaving no legal heirs to the property. Hence, the hotel was declared enemy property according to the law.

The post can be viewed here:

A worrying pattern, a symbol of oppression

It appears that the idea of justice has been altered, and bulldozers have taken its place as its emblem. The country is seeing massive machinery encroaching into specific areas under the guise of anti-encroachment campaigns. The cries of having documentation demonstrating their ownership go unheard by years. Bulldozer politics is a term used to describe a Hindutva political ideology and approach, not the usage of a bulldozer. At the moment, it is activated in areas since general elections are approaching. Its objectives are to foment religious strife, demonise a group of people—usually the Muslim minority—and seize power on the pretext of a purported Hindu identity.


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