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In pics: Homes bulldozed, slum-dwellers face bleak winter in Delhi's Mehrauli

See the images above. These slums in South Delhi's Mehrauli area are being bulldozed on the government's orders.

Now imagine your house or flat in their place. Try for a moment to feel the pain that the people who live in these slums are going through. It will cease to be just another demolition drive - you'll realise that these are HOMES that are being razed.

Over the past three decades, the vacant piece of land next to the Mehrauli cremation ground had become home to 500 slums. Most of the people living here had migrated from West Bengal, with some having come from Bihar.

"This land belongs to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA). We are following the orders passed by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD)," a police officer present at the scene tells this reporter.

The slum-dwellers claim they were not served any prior notice. They were not even given a chance to collect their belongings. The police officer refutes the accusation that the residents were not served eviction notices.

Just last year, a similar demolition drive had taken place in Delhi's Shakurbasti. At the time, the Delhi High Court had instructed the railways to stop the drive. But the Mehrauli slum-dwellers have had no such luck - the drive has continued through Monday and Tuesday.

All these families have valid documents to prove their citizenship. They've been left scratching their heads to understand what suddenly turned the government against them and their homes.

"These leaders come to us with folded hands seeking votes during elections. But the same leaders demolish our houses as soon as they come into power," laments one of the women gathered around.

The demolition drive has left around 1,500 men, women and children homeless. They have already spent a night without shelter. It's going to be a long winter ahead for these people.

 
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