India

Demolition drive begins in Lucknow’s Akbar Nagar amid heavy security


The Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) on June 10, amid heavy security deployment, initiated the demolition of illegal constructions, including shops and houses, in the State capital’s Akbar Nagar locality. For the demolition drive that will run in two shifts, the whole area had been barricaded and traffic diverted, with eight companies of the Uttar Pradesh Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC), and Rapid Action Force (RPF) on watch to maintain law and order, with officials of the LDA using bulldozers for demolition. Upon seeing the bulldozers, residents began gathering their belongings, with some showing stiff resistance against the government’s action. 

The Hindu reached out to Indra Mani Tripathi, Vice Chairman, LDA but no response was received till the time of going to press. It has been learnt that the 1,679 people from Akbar Nagar, who are affected by the action, have been allocated housing at Hardoi Road, Lucknow, with the LDA deputing staff, and officials facilitating quick possession of the apartments. 

On May 10, a Supreme Court Bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta, upheld the Allahabad High Court ruling on the demolition drive against unauthorised construction in the Akbar Nagar area, adding that no one should be evicted without being given alternative accommodation by the LDA. 

Amid the chaos, a video of a 12-year-old girl requesting Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav to intervene and save the houses from being razed went viral. “In the morning, we were asked to vacate premises where we lived since birth. My whole family is in trauma. I request Rahul-ji and Akhilesh Yadav-ji to intervene and save our houses. I sought an appointment with Akhilesh-ji but it was not possible due to elections. I request you all to share this appeal, so that it reaches them,” Aisha, the 12-year-old in the video, said. 



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