Hundreds of shops turned into debris within seconds in what seemed more like a targeted action driven by vengeance. The action in Minal Residency was unprecedented.
The question most asked was what was the fault of those who bought the land and shops. The administration hadn't objected when they got it registered and obtained other permissions.
If it was illegal construction, why this huge structure was allowed to come up. Raj Homes is owned by builder-turn-newspaper baron Arun Sahlot.
But if some bureaucrats or sections within the government (and ruling party) were cross with him, the ordinary citizens who had bought the shops shouldn't have been made pawns in this game. Sahlot's paper was publishing stories and reports that attacked certain ministers and bureaucrats.
No doubt, the paper was irresponsible at times. The issue of an IAS officer, Anurag Jain, whose involvement in the proposed medical college of a Jain trust, had been taken up by the paper as a personal agenda. Some ministers' corrupt practices were also targeted.
But does that justify this action? There is no dearth of illegal encroachment in Bhopal. Raj group has said that it will compensate all the victims. But we will have to see if the promise materialises. The action must have got the nod from the top in the BJP.
One just wished that all other encroachments, be it by political bigwigs or other local strongmen are also removed and razed. Selective action sends a wrong message. Already hundreds of families have suffered hugely, as they had used their lifelong savings to buy a shop but in one go, it all went into air.
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