Tension mounts as ‘illegal’ hutments are razed

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People’s man: Khairatabad MLA Vishnuvardhan Reddy being lifted forcibly from the demolition site on Tuesday.
People’s man: Khairatabad MLA Vishnuvardhan Reddy being lifted forcibly from the demolition site on Tuesday.

Staff Reporter

Khairatabad MLA stages sit-in, sprains leg in melee

Hut-dwellers refuse to move over to new premises

Demolition squads raze the hutments, evacuate people

HYDERABAD: Tension prevailed as Revenue officials demolished over 100 huts ‘illegally’ erected on Government land at Navanirmannagar in Jubilee Hills on Tuesday even as ruling Congress party legislator from Khairatabad, Vishnuvardhan Reddy, tried in vain to stall it.

With women, children and men offering stiff resistance and the MLA, accompanied by his supporters, joining them, the official machinery had a tough time clearing the 1.36 acre land, worth crores of rupees, of ‘illegal encroachment’. Tension escalated as the young MLA refused to listen to the officials’ explanation and staged a sit-in amidst the huts while some women threatened to resort to self-immolation after dousing themselves in kerosene.

According to the Revenue officials, the land under survey no. 403 falling under Shaikpet mandal belonged to the Government and was allocated to the Housing Board a year ago. Over 120 poor families living in the huts erected on the land were allotted newly-built houses at Yellammabanda in Kukatpally but they were not willing to vacate their old premises, they maintained. The official machinery along with demolition squads and JCB machines turned up on the land around 7 a.m. Contingents of police led by West Zone DCP Ravi Varma were deployed at the site. Mr. Reddy questioned as to why the hut-dwellers could not be allowed to live at the same site instead of forcibly being sent to remote place like Yellammabanda.

Police had to intervene as the MLA, his supporters and the hut-dwellers refused to budge. They forcibly evacuated all of them and in the jostling that ensued, the legislator sprained his leg. He was shifted to a corporate hospital. The city unit of CPI(M) has found fault with the government for demolishing huts. In a statement here, city secretary P.S.N. Murthy demanded the government regularise the land as slum dwellers were staying for the last 23 years.



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