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OpIndia Exclusive: Streets named as per ‘Line Number’ after ‘Railway Lines’, the inside story of encroachments in Haldwani

Thousands of Muslim residents in Haldwani staged a protest on December 28 against the clearance of illegal encroachments on railway land in accordance with a High Court ruling. The demonstrators claimed that removing the illegal encroachments would make them homeless.

On January 5, the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the matter of removal of the encroachment from Indian Railways land in Haldwani, Uttarakhand. Before the hearing, the streets of Haldwani were silent on January 4. In Vanbhulpura, we noticed complete silence. This is the same location seen in the demonstrations’ viral videos.

Line number 17 is located off the main road of Kidwai Nahar. The place seen in the video of women and children protesting is called Azad Nagar. OpIndia reached the area at around 11 AM on January 4. The majority of the shops and houses in this area belong to Muslims. Women were seen shopping while men were relaxing in the sun on the street. The traffic in the area was normal.

Street where protests happened.

The reason behind choosing the area for the protest

Speaking to OpIndia on the condition of anonymity, a local person said that line number 17 is the border till which the Indian Railways has marked the place for bulldozing. The road here divides the market into two parts. The left side of the road comes under encroachment the right side of the road can be saved from demolition. As this place borders the area owned by Railways, this area was chosen for the protests.

The streets are called ‘Line’ in Vanbhoolpura, as in ‘Railway Line’

Vanbhoolpura of Haldwani has a street named after ‘line’ numbers. The term ‘line’ is commonly used by railways. There are three lines at Haldwani station. The area that comes under the encroachment in Vanbhoolpura is called ‘Line No 17’. In these streets, OpIndia found both slums and concrete houses.

Street named after Railway Line.

The red mark of encroachment

During the investigation, OpIndia also noticed the signs that railways marked as the border of encroachment. There was an arrow mark made in the upward direction. The house whose wall was marked was closed. The shops around the area were functioning normally.

House marked by Indian Railways.

Traffic jam in Vanbhoolpura

The road that passes through Vanbhoolpura leads to Haldwani city. This road has also become a hotspot of encroachment along with the Railways land. At the beginning of Kidwai Nagar, the road is wide but narrows down as it reaches the railway crossing. Muslims have established shops on both sides of the road. The signal drops on this road as per the train schedule and remains closed for 10 to 15 minutes. During this time, traffic jam happens regularly, and the commuters have to face a lot of trouble.

The Haldwani encroachment clearance orders and protests against it

Thousands of Muslim residents in Haldwani staged a protest on December 28 against the clearance of illegal encroachments on railway land in accordance with a High Court ruling. The demonstrators claimed that removing the illegal encroachments would make them homeless.

Traffic jam due to encroachment.

The protesters also claimed that the clearance of encroachments would affect a large number of women, children, and elderly persons residing in the area. Obvious actors including Alt News’ Mohammed Zubair, Amnesty India and others have jumped to make Haldwani another Shaheen Bagh.

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राहुल पाण्डेय
राहुल पाण्डेयhttp://www.opindia.com
धर्म और राष्ट्र की रक्षा को जीवन की प्राथमिकता मानते हुए पत्रकारिता के पथ पर अग्रसर एक प्रशिक्षु। सैनिक व किसान परिवार से संबंधित।

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