Collective punishment? Demolitions in Haryana’s Nuh spanned at least 50 km ( Scroll )

Though district officials said only “illegal” structures were razed after “orders from the top”, homeless residents contest the claims.

By / Scroll

Till last month, the market in Nuh town was bustling with activity. Hundreds of fruit vendors, chaat stalls, kiosks selling juice and biscuits lined up on either side of Delhi-Alwar highway that runs through the Haryana town. Now they are all gone.

On August 6, bulldozers rumbled through the town and removed all the stalls, kiosks and carts apart from demolishing around 30 permanent shops and a four-storey hotel across a distance of 1.5 km, said local businessmen.

Mohammad Sharaf, the 60-year-old sarpanch of Adbar village on the outskirts of Nuh town abutting the highway, said 200 street vendors were pushed off the stretch, with their carts and kiosks.

“That day, we were at home due to the curfew and no one told us that bulldozers were removing our shops,” said Sarfu, 65, a small-time mechanic, who said he has been running his business from a tin shed for the last 30 years.

Sarfu said he had suffered a loss of Rs 50,000. “I had my tools and a welding machine here. When I came here the next day, there were just scraps of tin and iron left behind,” he said. Like many other small-time vendors, he did not have any documents for the land where his shop stood.

Nuh town was put under curfew on August 1, a day after communal violence broke out as a religious procession led by the Hindutva outfit Vishwa Hindu Parishad passed through the districts of Gurugram and Nuh. The violence had been preceded by rumours that a notorious cow vigilante, Monu Manesar, accused in the death of two men in neighbouring Rajasthan, would be a part of the procession.

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