Digha res­i­dents protest out­side min­is­ter’s home

DE­MO­LI­TION OR­DER NCP MLA says if state does not take de­ci­sion till Mon­day, protest will in­ten­sify

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - Megha Pol megha.pol@hin­dus­tan­times.com

The res­i­dents of Digha took out a rally to PWD min­is­ter and Thane guardian min­is­ter Ek­nath Shinde’s house at Luiswadi on Satur­day, protest­ing the or­der to de­mol­ish their houses. Shinde was not at home dur­ing the protest.

Last year, the Bom­bay high court had or­dered de­mo­li­tion of the 99 il­le­gal build­ings on MIDC land at Digha.

Around 600 res­i­dents gheraoed the bun­ga­low for over four hours and only af­ter tele­phonic as­sur­ance from Shinde and CM Deven­dra Fad­navis did they call off the protest, said Vidya Pawar, NCP MLA.

Pawar said that if the state does not take any de­ci­sion till Mon­day, the protest will be in­ten­si­fied.

The res­i­dents are fight­ing a le­gal bat­tle to save their homes for over a year. There are over 96 build­ings in the area hous­ing around 3,000 res­i­dents.

The state had promised to reg­u­larise the build­ings.

“The court had or­dered to serve evic­tion no­tices to the res­i­dents by Mon­day and the de­mo­li­tion is sup­posed to start from Wed­nes­day. How­ever mon­soon is around the cor­ner and the schools of the chil­dren in th­ese build­ings are set to re­open. Where will all th­ese res­i­dents go? The state should reg­u­larise the homes like Campa Cola build­ing,” Pawar said.

The pro­test­ers marched to Shinde’s res­i­dence at 11am.

When they learnt that Shinde was out of town, they sat out­side the house and re­fused to leave till they got some as­sur­ance. Thane mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Ra­jan Vichare, MLC Ravin­dra Phatak and hun­dreds of Shiv Sena work­ers reached the spot.

The po­lice, too, reached the spot to pre­vent any vi­o­lence.

Vichare ar­ranged for a tele­phonic con­ver­sa­tion be­tween the pro­test­ers and the CM and Shinde. The pro­test­ers re­fused to leave till for­mer MP San­jeev Naik reached the spot and in­ter­vened. The protest was fi­nally called off at 3.30pm.

“The high court has given or­ders to take ac­tion against res­i­dents of th­ese build­ings. The state gov­ern­ment will en­sure that there is no in­jus­tice done on th­ese res­i­dents. I will dis­cuss the is­sue with the chief min­is­ter on Mon­day and we will ap­peal to the Supreme Court,” said Shinde, in a press state­ment.

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