HC halts demolition of settlements of Hindu refugees from Pakistan

March 14, 2024 12:31 am | Updated 12:31 am IST - New Delhi:

Hundreds of Hindu refugees from Pakistan live on Yamuna floodplains near Majnu Ka Tila.

Hundreds of Hindu refugees from Pakistan live on Yamuna floodplains near Majnu Ka Tila. | Photo Credit: File Photo

The High Court has put on hold the demolition of homes of Hindu refugees from Pakistan at Majnu Ka Tila till further orders.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) had issued notices to the families living on the Yamuna floodplains to clear the area for a two-day anti-encroachment drive starting on March 7. However, the drive, which was to be carried out on the orders of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), was put on hold due to the unavailability of police personnel.

The High Court’s order, which was passed on Tuesday, was based on a plea by a refugee, Ravi Ranjan Singh, who sought a stay on the demolition till the area residents are allotted an alternative plot.

The DDA told the court that a penalty had been imposed upon it by the green tribunal and that the urban body was bound to follow the judicial orders.

Mr. Singh’s counsel said the refugees have been living at Majnu Ka Tila for the past many years, with basic facilities being provided by the authorities and that their children are studying in nearby government schools, and their examinations are under way.

The petitioner also drew the attention of the judge, Justice Mini Pushkarna, to an earlier petition where the Central government had made a statement in 2013 extending support to the Pakistan nationals.

“Considering the statement made on behalf of the then Additional Solicitor General of India that the Union of India shall make endeavours to extend support to the Hindu community from Pakistan, it is directed that no coercive action shall be taken against the petitioner, till the next date of hearing,” Justice Pushkarna said.

The court will hear the case again on Match 19.

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