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Haldwani eviction order | A big breath of relief among protesters: “We shall celebrate Eid today”

Following the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the Uttarakhand High Court’s order to evict over 4,000 families from land claimed by the Railways in Haldwani, jubilation broke out in the Banbhoolpura neighbourhood, with demonstrators hugging and handing out candy.

Suleman, whose two-story Indira Nagar home is located in the impacted area, stated, “We recently learned about the decision. I cannot express how delighted and relieved we are. Today, we will all celebrate Eid.

Pushkar Singh Dhami, the chief minister of Uttarakhand, stated that the administration has consistently insisted that the case is before a judge and that it will “follow what the judge says.”

The affected area, which spans a 2.2-km strip of land, includes the slums of Gafoor Basti, Dholak Basti, and Indira Nagar, all of which are located in Haldwani’s Banbhoolpura district. It also includes at least three government schools, 11 accredited private schools, 10 mosques, 12 madrasas, a public health centre, and a temple.

We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s judgement, said Shakeel Ansari, the municipal councillor (Independent) of Ward number 31, where the slums are located. The court’s fair judgement has reaffirmed our trust in the judicial system. More than 50,000 persons were prevented from being abandoned on the streets by the Supreme Court. This is also a result of the thousands of ladies and kids who prayed while walking the streets during this bitter winter.

Ansari claimed that the contested area includes his home as well as two other family members’ homes.

Asif Ali, a resident of Banbhoolpura’s Indira Nagar, said from Delhi, where he had travelled on Wednesday ahead of the Supreme Court decision, that all families in the impacted region had spent the previous few days in fear. He declared, “The Supreme Court is our saviour.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling demonstrates the genuine meaning of “satyamev jayate,” according to Taufeeq Ahmed, who travelled to Delhi with Ali.

Nearly all political parties agreed to applaud the court’s ruling.

Sumit Hridayesh, a Congress MLA from Haldwani, told The Deccan Era that the court order will “establish balance” in the neighbourhood.

The HC rejected the residents’ argument that the 1907 record proved the region was nazul land, stating that it is merely “an official communication, it will not have statutory effect.”

“We anticipated a stay from the Supreme Court. We are delighted that the legislation was followed properly. The court has granted us temporary relief and ordered all parties to present the necessary documentation. They have made an effort to restore the balance in terms of development, the government, and the populace. We appreciate the fairness of the legal procedure, added Hridayesh.

Mahendra Bhatt, the state president of the BJP, also praised the Supreme Court’s ruling and noted that the administration had previously made it clear that everyone will obey the ruling.

“This predicament, which has forced hundreds of families to fight in court, must be attributed to the Congress. The state government and the Railways have both been questioned by the court, and we are optimistic that the issue will finally be resolved. The BJP is sympathetic to the several families in Haldwani, the man claimed.

Shadab Shams, a BJP spokesperson and the head of the Uttarakhand Waqf Board, stated that they would have filed a lawsuit to protect 18 of the damaged Waqf properties if the Supreme Court had not granted interim relief.

“We applaud the Supreme Court’s ruling. Since a demolition would have left people outside in the bitter winter, this was a humanitarian choice. The railway land should be measured again, the court ruled. The court also mandated the creation of a framework for the rehabilitation of people who were impacted. He claimed that if the Supreme Court had not granted preliminary relief, a group of Waqf Board attorneys would have been prepared to sue the railways in court.

Waseem Siddiqui, state secretary of the Samajwadi Party, claimed that the court’s ruling against the Citizenship Amendment Act is a “slap on the cheeks of those who had likened the rallies with the Shaheen Bagh protests” (CAA).


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