Malwa Mill squatters stop bulldozers

NDORE: In a day-long high-voltage drama, residents of Malwa Mill area put up a stiff resistance to Indore Municipal Corporation (IMC) anti-encroachment drive on Thursday. When cops reached the spot in strength along with officers of district administration, a woman poured kerosene on her, children and threatened to immolate herself, men stood before bulldozers and JCB machine and residents were looked in a mood to clash with cops. Initially all attempts to convince agitated people turned futile.

After seven hours of negotiation and use of mild force, the civic body managed to remove 40 encroachments on Roshan Singh Bhandari Marg between Malwa Mill Square and Janzeerwala Square. The drive was carried out for widening road to 100 metre from existing 60 metre.

IMC had served notices to encroachers in last one year, but had failed to remove mainly due to resistance from residents and interference of high and mighty. Last year, IMC had made a vain bid to remove encroachments.

“Amid uproar and protest, a woman came out of a house and poured kerosene on self and her children and threaten to immolate herself and her children, if IMC team made attempt to demolish her house,” said an eyewitness.

Sensing trouble, cops overpowered women and her children and took them to police station. Many people were taken to police station and released in evening.

Deputy commissioner Mahendra Singh Chouhan said they had issued notices to residents before starting the drive. “We gave them enough time to vacate their houses and move to other place, but they ignored all notices and tried to prevent demolition drive,” Chouhan said. “We had even tried to inform them on consequences,” Chouhan said. He said the IMC could not let people encroach city roads as it was causing problem for commuters.