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Residents of Delhi's Narela oppose demolition of temples for defence institute, demand sports complex

Reported by

Siddhartha Datta

Legal Review by

Anmol Gupta

Edited by

Anupa Sagar Kujur

Updated by

Published on

December 21, 2023

December 22, 2023

Edited on

December 21, 2023

State

Delhi

Sector

Infrastructure

People Affected by Conflict

6845

Households Affected by Conflict

1426

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

4

ha

Starting Year

2023

Location of Conflict

Bajitpur Thakran

Narela

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Urban Development (Other than Smart Cities)

Land Conflict Summary

Residents of Bajitpur Thakran village in Delhi's Narela [opposed](https://www.newsclick.in/delhi-villagers-oppose-demolition-2-temples-allege-ulterior-motives#:~:text=Delhi Villagers Oppose Demolition of 2 Temples%2C Allege Ulterior Motives,-Hrishi Raj Anand&text=) the demolition of two temples by police and paramilitary personnel on June 19, 2023. The demolition drive was being carried out to free nine acres of land in the village, on the border of Northwest Delhi near Bawana, for the construction civil defence training centre.

The villagers alleged that the government had already earmarked 20 acres for building the civil defence training centre. 

The nine-acre plot has been a bone of contention between the government and the villagers as the latter argue that the land should be used for creating better infrastructure for the village. 

Over three decades ago, the nine acres of gram sabha land in Bajitpur Thakran village was allotted for construction of a sports complex by the then Delhi government. However, after the centrally-governed Delhi Development Authority (DDA) declared the village as ‘urban’ in 2017, the land was given for development of a Civil Defence Training Institute.

In a letter dated June 16, 2003, reviewed by NewsClick, the then-sarpanch Sarpanch Baljit had written to the Delhi government showing an agreement signed in the 1990s for constructing a sports stadium in the area. According to the letter, a wall was also constructed around the nine acres and the government had formed a Board regarding the construction. But another site was selected for unknown reasons.

In October 2002, the Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) Department had proposed to build washrooms, a hall and a jogging track the same plot of land and submitted the proposal to the project director of rural development, Delhi. However, the proposal was rejected, saying that the village did not need them anymore. In 2006, the I&FC Department said that the land could be used to build an industrial training institute or a polytechnic college to benefit future generations and the village. The department recommended immediate action but there was no progress. In 2015, the Delhi government allotted the plot of land to the civil defence department to build a training centre. 

“Our village lacks basic amenities, like a hospital or a good government school. Families don’t have sufficient resources for kids who want to prepare for defence services and make the country proud. But the government wants to use the land for everything but what the villagers need right now,” Ashish Thakran, son of a sarpanch who had fought for the land, told NewsClick. 

Paras Tyagi, co-founder of Centre for Youth Culture Law and Environment (CYCLE), an NGO assisting the villagers in organising the protest, said they will write more postcards to the Chief Justice of India to share their grievances. Besides, the mahapanchayat also decided to request the L-G to cancel the defence institute allotment and initiate work on the sports complex.

Fact Sheet

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand to cancel the project

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

What was the action taken by the police?

How many people did the police detain or arrest?

What is the current status of the detained/accused persons?

Did the person face any violence while in police custody?

Did the person face any violence while in police custody?

If any arrests took place, were the accused persons produced before a judge within 24 hours of the arrest?

If the accused was not produced before a magistrate within 24 hours, or not produced at all, what were the reasons?

Legislation under which the accused was charged

Was the accused person informed of their right to legal representation? Did the accused person have access to legal aid?

In cases where the accused person approached the court for bail, was bail granted?

Why was bail granted or rejected? If granted, what were the bail conditions and quantum of bail?

Were there any other notable irregularities that took place, or other significant details?

Details of sources (names of accused, names and numbers of any lawyers, names of any police officers contacted)

Status of Project

Project stalled due to protests

Original Project Deadline

Whether the Project has been Delayed

No

Significance of Land to Land Owners/Users

Religious/Sacred/Cultural value, Government or community-regulated urban commons

Whether the project was stalled due to land conflict

Yes

Source/Reference

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Legal Data

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957
Section 507 [Municipal Corporation with the prior approval of the state government may notify any portion of rural areas to be included as part of urban areas.]
Delhi Development Act, 1957
Section 30 [The Delhi Development Authority cannot demolish unauthorized structures without giving affected landowners or parties a reasonable opportunity to be heard. Notice for the same cannot be less than 5 days]
Delhi Development Authority (Removal of Objectionable Developments) Rules, 1975
  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  2. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  3. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  4. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

No

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

Prior to the urbanisation of Bajitpur Thakran, residents of the village cite several letters between the Delhi government and the Panchayat that promise the development of the land for the betterment of the residents: a) A 2003 letter between Sarpanch Baljit and the Delhi Government promises the construction of a sports stadium b) In 2006, the Irrigation and Flood Control Department promised the construction of a Polytechnic Institute

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-consultation with stakeholders

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Additional Information

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Blockades

Objections as part of official procedures

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Delhi Development Authority

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Information on the use of criminal law

What was the action taken by the police?

How many people did the police detain or arrest?

What is the current status of the detained/accused persons?

Did the person face any violence while in police custody?

If any arrests took place, were the accused persons produced before a judge within 24 hours of the arrest?

If the accused was not produced before a magistrate within 24 hours, or not produced at all, what were the reasons?

Legislation under which the accused was charged

Was the accused person informed of their right to legal representation? Did the accused person have access to legal aid?

In cases where the accused person approached the court for bail, was bail granted?

Why was bail granted or rejected? If granted, what were the bail conditions and quantum of bail?

Were there any other notable irregularities that took place, or other significant details?

Resources

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Images

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Video

Residents of Bajitpur Thakran village in Delhi's Narela [opposed](https://www.newsclick.in/delhi-villagers-oppose-demolition-2-temples-allege-ulterior-motives#:~:text=Delhi Villagers Oppose Demolition of 2 Temples%2C Allege Ulterior Motives,-Hrishi Raj Anand&text=) the demolition of two temples by police and paramilitary personnel on June 19, 2023. The demolition drive was being carried out to free nine acres of land in the village, on the border of Northwest Delhi near Bawana, for the construction civil defence training centre.

The villagers alleged that the government had already earmarked 20 acres for building the civil defence training centre. 

The nine-acre plot has been a bone of contention between the government and the villagers as the latter argue that the land should be used for creating better infrastructure for the village. 

Over three decades ago, the nine acres of gram sabha land in Bajitpur Thakran village was allotted for construction of a sports complex by the then Delhi government. However, after the centrally-governed Delhi Development Authority (DDA) declared the village as ‘urban’ in 2017, the land was given for development of a Civil Defence Training Institute.

In a letter dated June 16, 2003, reviewed by NewsClick, the then-sarpanch Sarpanch Baljit had written to the Delhi government showing an agreement signed in the 1990s for constructing a sports stadium in the area. According to the letter, a wall was also constructed around the nine acres and the government had formed a Board regarding the construction. But another site was selected for unknown reasons.

In October 2002, the Irrigation and Flood Control (I&FC) Department had proposed to build washrooms, a hall and a jogging track the same plot of land and submitted the proposal to the project director of rural development, Delhi. However, the proposal was rejected, saying that the village did not need them anymore. In 2006, the I&FC Department said that the land could be used to build an industrial training institute or a polytechnic college to benefit future generations and the village. The department recommended immediate action but there was no progress. In 2015, the Delhi government allotted the plot of land to the civil defence department to build a training centre. 

“Our village lacks basic amenities, like a hospital or a good government school. Families don’t have sufficient resources for kids who want to prepare for defence services and make the country proud. But the government wants to use the land for everything but what the villagers need right now,” Ashish Thakran, son of a sarpanch who had fought for the land, told NewsClick. 

Paras Tyagi, co-founder of Centre for Youth Culture Law and Environment (CYCLE), an NGO assisting the villagers in organising the protest, said they will write more postcards to the Chief Justice of India to share their grievances. Besides, the mahapanchayat also decided to request the L-G to cancel the defence institute allotment and initiate work on the sports complex.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Demand to retain/protect access to common land/resources

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand to cancel the project

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Urban

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Delhi Municipal Corporation Act, 1957
Section 507 [Municipal Corporation with the prior approval of the state government may notify any portion of rural areas to be included as part of urban areas.]
Delhi Development Act, 1957
Section 30 [The Delhi Development Authority cannot demolish unauthorized structures without giving affected landowners or parties a reasonable opportunity to be heard. Notice for the same cannot be less than 5 days]
Delhi Development Authority (Removal of Objectionable Developments) Rules, 1975
  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  2. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  3. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  4. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

No

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

Prior to the urbanisation of Bajitpur Thakran, residents of the village cite several letters between the Delhi government and the Panchayat that promise the development of the land for the betterment of the residents: a) A 2003 letter between Sarpanch Baljit and the Delhi Government promises the construction of a sports stadium b) In 2006, the Irrigation and Flood Control Department promised the construction of a Polytechnic Institute

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-consultation with stakeholders

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Blockades

Objections as part of official procedures

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Delhi Development Authority

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

Text Link

Reviewed By

Text Link

Updated By

Text Link

Edited By

Text LinkLand Conflict Watch

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