Digha residents protest outside minister’s home
NCP MLA says if state does not take decision till Monday, protest will intensify
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.