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Hunger strikes and protests: Demolitions halted

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20170910_130837-780x439.jpgVrindavan, 2017.09.16 (VT):  Since the order of the High Court, numerous local people and saints have opened a front against the administration’s actions in support of those affected. The administration has knocked down dozens of houses in the last three days. This has not unexpectedly given rise to a great deal of anger among the people who have been made homeless.

As a result, several sants and local citizens led by Vrindavan social activist Ramesh Pujari went on an indefinite hunger strike at around 2.30 pm on Monday. Dozens of people expressed their anger by shouting slogans against the district administration.

Ramesh Pujari started fasting indefinitely at the Panigaon corner on the Parikrama Marg, accusing the administration of hypocritical behavior. His action seems to be have had some effect as after two days the demolition work has been stopped. The Administration has completely bent and his fast has been stopped.

“They are destroying the poor people’s huts but not buildings owned by the wealthy. We want some fairness in treatment,” said Pujari.

“If the administration had not broken the rules by allowing registration and construction to take place there, there would be no problem today. Poor people are being made homeless, but the real estate moguls and owners of the bigger buildings are being protected. If the administration behaves in a two-faced manner with the poor, then they will come knocking at the doors of the court,” he said.

Pujari further accused the MVDA of taken millions of rupees in illegal fees. “The hunger strike is also protesting this. The different levels of government promise homes for the poor, but here we see that these people have saved money from their own labor to build these residences and now they are being cruelly destroyed without compensation. Meanwhile the MVDA officers are taking in millions in bribes. We want justice.”

In another meeting held in Chaitanya Kuti on Thursday, Swami Ramdevand Maharaj said that Development Authority first permitted construction of houses legally, so their destruction must be illegal. If the houses of the poor and helpless are being demolished, then the Sant Samaj will stage protest action.

Phuldol Maharaj and Mahant Parameshwar Das Tyagi also levied similar warnings.

According to unnamed sources, money is being collected from those affected by the demolition so that lawyers can be hired to plead their case in the High Court. The builders of the residential colonies and their residents have raised a considerable sum to argue their side. It has been reported that people have been giving from three to five thousand rupees each. Other documents have been taken from these families, including their house and land registration, for the purpose of making their case.


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