The Delhi High Court on Tuesday stayed the demolition of hutments in the city’s Kathputli Colony, The Indian Express reported. The development comes a day after the Delhi Development Authority razed 500 structures and a family claimed that a child had died after officials used tear gas during the drive.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar gave the order to allow people, who have been found eligible, to move to the designated relocation sites. Those who have been found ineligible for relocation will not be “physically removed from the demolished premises” for two weeks,” the English daily reported. The bench ordered Ranjeet Nagar Police Station House officer to maintain “strict status quo”.
Meanwhile, a family living in the colony alleged that the teargas shells fired during the demolition led to the death of their two-year-old child. The child’s mother claimed that her son was suffering from a minor cold and fever when they visited her parents in the colony. “But it all got worse after the demolition,” his mother said. “He could not breathe properly after the police used teargas shells in the afternoon.”
Hospital officials, however, could not confirm if the teargas had caused his death. Deputy Commissioner of Police MS Randhawa rejected the family’s allegations. “The family has not filed a complaint,” Randhawa told The Indian Express. “Teargas was not thrown in the area where they live. The child died of natural causes.”
A journalist alleged that police officials beat and detained a media person during the drive, The Quint reported.