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Business News/ News / India/  Uttarakhand tunnel rescue hero spends night on footpath after DDA demolishes home: ‘This is what I get in return?’
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Uttarakhand tunnel rescue hero spends night on footpath after DDA demolishes home: ‘This is what I get in return?’

Months after the nationwide celebration of the successful rescue of Uttarakashi laborers from the Silkyara tunnel, the home of the rat-hole miner who led the operation to save the trapped workers was demolished by the Delhi Development Authority on Thursday.

On Wednesday afternoon, DDA demolished Hassan’s house in the Shriram Colony area of Khajoori Khas in northeast Delhi. This was the only house demolished in the area on Wednesday as officials said it was the only one where no legal stay was obtained from any court. (Photo: Raj K Raj/HT)Premium
On Wednesday afternoon, DDA demolished Hassan’s house in the Shriram Colony area of Khajoori Khas in northeast Delhi. This was the only house demolished in the area on Wednesday as officials said it was the only one where no legal stay was obtained from any court. (Photo: Raj K Raj/HT)

The Delhi Development Authority led a demolition drive this week — razing the home of Wakeel Hassan and several other individuals in Khajoori Khas. The rat-hole miner had previously made waves for his role in leading the rescue of workers trapped within the Silkyara tunnel. Affected members of the Uttarkashi rescue team insist that the DDA had "started demolishing the house" without giving any advance notice. 

“Despite contributing significantly to the country through my work, this is the treatment I receive. My children are now on the streets, and I don't know where to take them. It's challenging to earn a daily wage, and building another home seems impossible. The only option left seems to be ending our lives. Should we resort to that?" Hassan asked.

Delhi authorities however insisted that he was aware of the “status of encroachment" as the house had previously been removed in 2016. They said that the land was encroached yet again in 2017 and several subsequent demolition attempts were thwarted by the residents.

ALSO READ: Silkyara tunnel rescue: Anand Mahindra big praise for 'humble rathole miners'

Wakeel Hassan and his family have spent the past two nights sitting on a footpath and refuse to budge from the site. He has turned down an offer from the DDA to relocate them to an EWS flat in Narela and said they had not received any help from the government so far.

"My family and I continue to spend the night in the open. Some locals are providing us with food and water, etc. We have now accepted the night as a challenge," he said. 

“When I questioned them about encroaching on my land, they provided no substantial proof. Instead, I was taken to the police station with my wife and children. I won't move from here until I receive assurance from the government. All I want is my house…I feel sorry for them and their mindset. After demolishing my home, valued at 1-1.5 crores, they are attempting to relocate me to the Narela area, where not even dogs roam," he added.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 01 Mar 2024, 04:52 PM IST
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