50,000 people cannot be uprooted in seven days: SC on Uttarakhand HC’s order to evict Muslim families

Muslims protest in Uttarakhand against eviction notice by govt. [File Photo]

The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed an order passed by the Uttarakhand High Court to evict over 4,000 Muslim families living on “encroached” Railways land in Nainital’s Haldwani.

The court said a workable arrangement has to be devised as 50,000 people can’t be uprooted in seven days. It said that full rehabilitation must be provided to the inhabitants by the government.

“In the meantime, there shall be a stay of the directions passed in the impugned order,” the Apex Court said barring any new construction or development on the land.

The bench of Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Abhay S Oka said 50,000 people cannot be uprooted in seven days. As Justice SK Kaul heard the matter, he said there are many aspects in the case and people have been staying in the land for years; and there are establishments. “How can you say in seven days clear them off?” Justice Kaul said, as reported by LiveLaw.

The eviction was supposed to begin on January 10 based on the Uttarakhand high court order against which massive protests were going on in Haldwani. The protests by the residents who have been living in the area for decades gathered support from political parties like the Congress, Samajwadi Party, and AIMIM.

The case has now been listed for its next hearing on February 7.

Earlier, massive protests were witnessed in the area as demonstrators said that removing the structures would make them homeless and they have been living here for decades.

The protesters also said that the clearance of the structures would affect a large number of women, children, and elderly persons residing in the area.


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