NEW DELHI: The death of a six-month-old baby allegedly during a demolition drive carried out by Railways in Delhi sparked a row on Sunday with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal demanding that a case of murder be registered against the railway officials involved. The railways, however, said the infant had died two hours before the drive began.
The demolition began on Saturday to remove 500 slum dwellings and 15 shops near the Shakurbasti railway station in West Delhi. The move came after three notices were served to the inhabitants.
“We have followed all procedures before removing those unauthorised constructions on railway land. Three notices were served to them and finally with police help, we removed those encroachments,” Delhi Divisional Railway Manager Arun Arora told reporters.He said the baby had died before the drive started at 12 pm on Saturday and it could not be carried earlier because policemen weren’t available.
The police, on their part, said prima facie, the baby had died after a heap of clothes fell on him while his parents were preparing to move out of the jhuggi. Hence, no case was made out, they said.
However, following protests over the infant’s death, Kejriwal said: “A child has died here. It is a very sad thing and I think that a murder case should be registered against the officers. I think God will never forgive them. Compensation will be taken from them (Railways). It should be deducted from the salaries of the officers who conducted these raids.”
The CM also visited the site and suspended two sub-divisional magistrates and another senior official for failing to arrange food and shelter for those evicted. He also announced a magisterial probe into the incident.