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Demolition row: Kejriwal terms Rahul Gandhi ‘just a kid’

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New Delhi :A case of death due to negligence was today registered, two days after a toddler died in a West Delhi slum cluster demolished by railways, triggering a political slugfest with ruling AAP targeting the Centre and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi coming down hard on both.

As per the post mortem report, the six-month-old girl died due to shock and injuries on chest and head due to impact of blunt force and mentioned about fractures in ribs and head.

Though the Railways maintained that the toddler died two hours before the demolition drive began along the train tracks at Shakur Basti, the parents of the child blamed the authorities for creating a situation leading to her death.

As AAP government sharpened its attack on the Centre for death of the child and leaving hundreds homeless in biting cold, Gandhi visited the site and wondered why the Kejriwal dispensation was protesting despite ruling the city and assured the homeless that he will fight their “battle”.

“Modi sarkar and Kejriwal sarkar are responsible for what has happened. But now they are busy blaming each other. Instead they should provide help to the people who have been displaced & rehabilitate them,” Gandhi said on Twitter.

Resolving to fight for the poor, Gandhi told the homeless, “Whenever a slum is about to be demolished, call Rahul Gandhi. He won’t let this happen. We will try to help you. As you know we are not in the government, it is AAP’s and BJP’s government. But we will try to protect you, we will fight your battle.”

Gandhi’s comments drew a sharp reaction from Kejriwal. “Rahul Gandhi is still a child. His party probably did not tell him that Railway comes under the central government, and not under the Government of Delhi,” he said.

Meanwhile, police probing the toddler’s death, said a case of death due to negligencen against unknown persons have been registered at Punajbi Bagh police station on the basis of statement of her father Mohammad Anwar.

“The case has been registered under Section 304 A (causing death due to negligence) at Punjabi Bagh police station,” said Pushpendra Kumar, DCP(West).

According to police, Anwar, in a statement said a tied bundle of clothes fell down on the girl sleeping on the floor as the family was in a hurry to vacate their shanty.

“As the officials came knocking, we started quickly packing our belongings. In the ensuing melee we did not realise when a heap of clothes fell on her which turned out to be fatal.

“My child, who had just started seeing the world, would have been by my side today if the officials had given us little time and a prior notice,” the toddler’s father Anwar said. The couple has two more children, a girl aged five and a boy aged three.

Severely critical of Railways and the police, the AAP government has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the demolition drive and death of the girl. The Chief Minister suspended two Sub-Divisional Magistrates and another senior official for “failing to arrange” food and shelter for those evicted.

In its reaction, Delhi BJP hit out at Kejriwal government accusing it of “indulging in politics” over death of the infant.”Politics over death of an infant is not the culture of Delhi,” Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay said.

The demolition was carried out on Saturday in which over 1,200 slum units were removed, with the railways insisting that the action was necessary to clear the “encroachments” for expanding infrastructure.

The railways said the demolition was carried out after three notices, the first one with the March 14, 2015 deadline.

AAP and Trinammol Congress protested near the Mahatma Gandhi statue outside Parliament condemning the demolition.
AAP also protested in Parliament over the issue after Speaker Sumitra Mahajan rejected an adjournment motion moved by it.

Terming the incident as inhuman, Delhi Minister Satyendra Jain alleged the demolition was carried out “to teach a lesson” to these people who had voted for Arvind Kejriwal.

“Without making any alternative arrangements for them, their houses were demolished. The demolition was carried out to teach a lesson to these people who had voted for Arvind Kejriwal.

“In the process an infant girl has died and the post-mortem has revealed that she had received severe head injuries and that her ribs had broken,” said Jain.

PTI