Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Dec 29:
Tension prevailed in Taanla Sahi in Tulasipur locality of Odisha’s Cuttack city today during an eviction drive when police tried to chase away some slum dwellers who were sitting on a dharna protesting against the eviction of slum dwellers.
Trouble started when some slum dwellers pelted stones at the police and set fire to some shanties in the slum.
As the situation went out of control, police resorted to mild lathicharge in which two persons were injured.
Following information, fire tenders rushed in to douse the fire.
Police later arrested ten persons on charges of inciting slum dwellers against the eviction drive and attacking policemen on duty.
“Early morning police came and asked us to vacate. Our houses have been demolished. We have been left under the open sky in the winter chill. Had they made some arrangements for our rehabilitation it would have been much better. Where will we go now with our children and belongings? ”, asked a middle aged woman.
“CMC’s eviction drive was on. Some people protesting against the eviction pelted stones at the police. We have taken some people on preventive arrest. About 10-15 policemen have sustained minor injuries during the scuffle with the slum dwellers. The situation is now under control”, Sanjeev Arora, DCP, Cuttack to reporters.
“The reason behind the eviction is that the 264 families residing here will be provided houses under Integrated Housing and Slum Development Programme. We had discussed it with them and they had agreed for the eviction drive after the rainy season and festival season was over”, informed said Gyana Das, commissioner, Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC).
He also said 10 slum dwellers had moved the High Court in this connection to which the court allowed them seven days time and had asked them to shift at their own cost.
Das said the CMC, prior to the eviction drive, had served notice to the slum dwellers and made announcement on the public address system in advance.
He also said that after the completion of eviction, work will start on the project and will be completed within eight months.