[mpisgmedia] Dispossession in Lal Khet (in Delhi ridge)

Six clusters housing thousand families tucked away in
forest in Lal Khet, quarried since '70s, meant since
1990 to be Vasant Kunj Phase-2 and lately designated
'biodiversity park', were demolished on 29 July 2004.

The demolition looked a lot like Pushta demolitions of
earlier this year, but the war-bubble was burst by
people who decided the previous night to 'co-operate'
to prevent forcible eviction ? a volte-face from
decision to protest, precipitated by startling
demolition without notice of a school elsewhere in the
area on evening of 27 July.

Walking amidst quarried ditches that they left alone
and others are filling for Park-work (including,
perhaps, with pieces of their homes toppled in by JCBs
summoned on cell phones), losing to their sad
amusement my way in their pahaar even more than before
with landmark of this or that house gone, gazing from
atop the ridge between their west-side with forest
into which I had to peer to spot their camps even when
their homes were there with glossy institutional
buildings beyond and at the Malls' east-side with
boring rigs standing tall and clear and busy traffic
and JNU beyond, I feel like I did in my Pushta

But Lal Khet demolition was significantly, albeit
subtly, different from Pushta demolitions. The
difference might not survive the indifference and the
wilderness and the minions of the state that hound and
harass. But difference there was and chronicled it is.


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