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Homeless after eviction, rat-hole miner's daughter misses Class 10 exam too

February 29, 2024 22:46 IST

A teenage daughter of rat-hole mining expert Wakeel Hasan, who was involved in rescuing 41 labourers who got trapped in an under-construction tunnel in Uttarakhand last year, missed her exam on Thursday due to the chaos caused by the demolition of their house, the family members claimed.

IMAGE: Rat-hole miner Wakeel Hassan's house was razed in a demolition drive carried out by the DDA in northeast Delhi's Khajoori Khas area. Photograph: ANI Photo

The belongings of the family, including the notes, books and school uniform of Hasan's daughter Aliza, were buried in the debris of the family's small house in Sri Ram Colony that was demolished as "encroachment" by the Delhi Development Authority on Wednesday.


Aliza, a Class-10 student of the National Institute of Open Schooling, could not appear in her home science exam due to the chaos prevailing after the demolition of the house, her family members claimed.

"On the day of her exam, my daughter is standing on the road. Her books, school dress, notes -- everything is scattered somewhere under the debris," Hasan's wife Sabana told PTI.

She also alleged that some people forcibly entered their house by breaking down the door and only her daughter and son were at home when the demolition was carried out.

"There was no one at home when the DDA officials came along with police. Aliza, who was preparing for her exam, and my son Ajeem were at home. My husband and I rushed to our house after being informed that it was being demolished," Sabana said.

Aliza said after missing the exam, she talked to her teacher, who assured her that something would be done.

Her elder brother Ajeem said, "My education was disrupted during COVID-19, but my sister is very enthusiastic about studying. She used to teach our younger brother and tutor children from nearby houses."

He feared that his sister's education will be impacted due to the disturbance after the demolition of their house.

The DDA claimed that the demolition was carried out on a piece of land that was part of a planned development land.

"At no point in time during the demolition exercise were we aware of Wakeel's recent contribution in the rescue operation of the workers entrapped in Silkyara Barkot tunnel in Uttarkashi," it said in a statement.

However, the family members claimed that they told the DDA team during the demolition about Hasan's role in the rescue operation in Uttarakhand in November last year.

Another rat-hole mining expert, Munna Qureshi, who was part of the rescue team along with Hasan in Uttarakhand, said, "While they were demolishing the house, we told them that we had saved people's lives in Uttarkashi, but the DDA people did not bother to listen to us. Now, they are lying, saying they did not know."

Hasan said, "When I questioned the DDA officials, they said my house was unauthorised. I tried to reason with them that it is situated along with other houses and there is a DDA wall behind it, but they insisted that it was unauthorised."

Justifying its action, the DDA said in its role as an authority, it "cannot allow encroachment" on its land or "unauthorised constructions in its development areas".

The DDA also said Hasan was aware of his house's "status of encroachment" as it was previously removed in 2016 and was encroached upon again in 2017.

Asserting that it was a "routine encroachment-removal drive", the DDA said Wednesday's action did not "target any particular individual".

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