Published On : Tue, May 19th, 2015

Anti-encroachment drive turns violent in sitabuldi


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Nagpur.

The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court had taken suo-moto cognizance of the encroachment prevailing in the market area and had given orders to remove all encroachments. A joint anti-encroachment drive was undertaken on May 19, 2015 in the central and one of the biggest shopping streets situated in Sitabuldi area in the second capital of Maharashtra. The drive started on both the sides on the road from Variety Square to Maharajbagh and later from Variety Square to Loha Pul (Iron Bridge).

The shopkeepers opposed the authorities from removing permanent encroachments. The police officials had to resort to mild lathi charge thrice in order to disperse the shopkeepers who were opposing the anti-encroachment drive on Tuesday the May 19, 2015. There was a tense atmosphere throughout the day in the market area of Sitabuldi.

The massive encroachments made by the shopkeepers on both the sides had been causing prevention of smooth flow of vehicular movement. With the permanent encroachments, the vendors on handcarts and the way they place their carts to sell goods has made the sixty foot wide main-road into a mere lane.


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Taking serious cognizance of the directives of the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court, Nagpur Municipal Corporation, MSEDCL and the Police Department had undertaken a joint operation to remove encroachments on Tuesday. However, this caused a tense situation to prevail in the market area.

The joint anti-encroachment drive started from Variety Square to Maharajbagh. Those shopkeepers had started opposing the drive causing tension. As the tension mounted, the police personnel of Sitabuldi Police Station had to reach the spot to control the shopkeepers.

The officials of Nagpur Municipal Corporation had very politely informing the shopkeepers that they had sent notices to the shopkeepers nearly one year ago to remove illegal encroachment on their own failing which action would be initiated. They also informed the shopkeepers that this drive is undertaken on the orders of the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court and that they should not oppose the action. However, when the shopkeepers were adamant and were preventing the authorities from carrying out the drive, the police had to resort to mild lathi charge. The road was cleared of the encroachments.

After this drive on the road from Variety Square to Maharajbagh, the authorities turned their action to the road from Variety Square to Loha Pul. When the vendors and the shopkeepers saw the anti-encroachment drive arriving towards the main shopping street, they were seen running helter skelter in the by-lanes to escape the seizure of their goods. These vendors had stocked their goods into the lanes and by-lanes in haste.

Two bulldozers started to dismantle and destroy the permanent encroachments which occupied nearly 5 to 10 foot of the main road on both the sides. The collapsible shutters, sign-boards etc were being destroyed.

Anti-encroachment drive in burdi  (1)
The shopkeepers had shown some bravery and had stood before the Bulldozers to prevent the anti-encroachment drive. The officials of Nagpur Municipal Corporation had very politely informing the shopkeepers that they had sent notices to the shopkeepers nearly one year ago to remove illegal encroachment on their own failing which action would be initiated. However, the shopkeepers claimed that they would incur losses worth lakhs of rupees. They also requested the authorities to extend the grace period.

The authorities were informing them that this is an action initiated under the directives of the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court and that it is wise to allow the drive to take its action. However, when the shopkeepers remained adamant and prevented the officials from taking action, the police officials had resorted to mild lathi charge.

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The cops had to resort to mild lathi charge in three places and this caused some clashes between the shopkeepers and the police personnel. This caused the cops to take 10-12 shopkeepers into custody. Many shopkeepers kept the shutters of their shops closed.

Throughout the day, permanent encroachment of Fashion Mall, Parekh Jewellers and many more were destroyed. With the rising number of on-lookers, the anti-encroachment squad had difficulty in carrying out the work. Since the squad did not close the road, the road users also caused problems.
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