Despite HC order, BBMP razes 48 shops, houses

Despite HC order, BBMP razes 48 shops, houses

BBMP on a demolition drive near Someshwara temple in Ulsoor on Wednesday. DH Photo

The court order came around 4.30 pm. But, the demolition drive continued till late in the evening. The drive began early Wednesday morning.

The drive was conducted by the BBMP on behest of the Muzrai Department, as small shops which sold garments and footwear dotted the area in front of the temple.

Members belonging to minority community, spearheaded by Tipu United Front (TUF) protested the demolition drive. Later, they also protested in front of the BBMP headquarters. Demonstrators accused both the BBMP and the State government of taking advantage of the three-day holiday for the court beginning Friday. “It is shameful that such an incident has occurred in the holy month of Ramzan,” said Iqbal, a member of TUF.

However, shopowners claimed that Muzrai officers had collected Rs 900 per month, for the year 2009, just a fortnight ago. “We have been duped by the Muzrai Department, which has been collecting the rent on an yearly basis from all of us only to render us homeless without any prior notice,” lamented Aslam Pasha, who owns a ready-made garments shop.

However, the BBMP claimed that it had already sent a notice to the shopkeepers on August 31, to vacate the vicinity, as they had encroached upon the temple property and had thus become a hurdle obstructing the movement of people. In its notice, the Palike had stated that a three-day notice was issued to them for clearing the footpath. “Failing to clear the area would invite further action along with a penalty, as per the Karnataka Municipal Corporation (KMC) Act, 1976,” the notice stated.

The demolition drive was carried out under the protection of the City police and two earth movers were pressed into service.

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