“An exercise of ethnic cleansing”: Haryana and Punjab HC tells government to stop demolitions in Nuh


By Muslim Mirror Staff

On Monday, the Punjab & Haryana High Court observed that there have been instances of unauthorized demolition of buildings in Nuh and Gurugram without following proper demolition procedures.

The court expressed worry about the possibility of targeted demolition of buildings owned by a particular community, which could suggest ethnic cleansing efforts by the State. This came during the case “Court on its own motion v. State of Haryana,” presided over by Justices GS Sandhawalia and Harpreet Kaur Jeewan.

“Apparently, without any demolition orders and notices, the law and order problem is being used as a ruse to bring down buildings without following the procedure established by law. The issue also arises whether the buildings belonging to a particular community are being brought down under the guise of law and order problem and an exercise of ethnic cleansing is being conducted by the State,” the order passed on August 7 stated.

Earlier on August7, the High Court took suo motu cognizance of and stopped the demolition efforts carried out in Haryana’s Nuh district after recent communal conflicts.

The Court based its action on news articles from both Times of India and The Indian Express published on Monday, illustrating the ongoing demolitions in Nuh and Gurugram.

According to the Court, authorities stated that the demolitions were being conducted due to illegal constructions put up by individuals engaged in anti-social activities.

“The said news item would go on to show that buildings next to the hospital in the form of commercial buildings, residential buildings, restaurants which were in existence for a long time have been brought down by bulldozers. The news item also says that the Home Minister himself has said that bulldozer are part of illaj (treatment) since the Government is probing communal violence…Lord Acton has stated “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”,” the Court observed.

Under the prevailing situation, the Court felt obligated to serve notice to the State. Additionally, the Court instructed the Haryana State to submit a sworn statement outlining the count of buildings that have been razed in the last two weeks, in both Nuh and Gurugram, along with information regarding any prior notifications issued prior to these demolitions.

“If any such demolition is to be carried out today, it should be stopped if the procedure is not followed as per law,” the order clarified.

The case is scheduled for its next hearing on August 11th.


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