MP’s government in new row as teenage hockey player’s hut demolished in anti-encroachment campaign – Reuters
BHOPAL: Already facing allegations of ‘unilateral’ action against minority community during ‘illegal properties’ bulldozing campaign in communal violence-hit Khargone town, Madhya Pradesh’s BJP government is now facing a new controversy after a hut accommodation a national level hockey player and her family was demolished during the campaign to remove encroachments in Mandsaur district on Monday.
After failing to stop the anti-encroachment squad from demolishing his hut and neighboring huts, 18-year-old state junior hockey team fullback Sagu Dawar allegedly tried to pour kerosene on himself on herself to burn herself, but alert cops foiled her. The teenage hockey player, however, denied attempting to set herself on fire and instead alleged that other women whose huts were demolished on Monday had poured kerosene on her.
“The local administration suddenly came and started demolishing our huts, where we have lived for decades. We asked them to give us two or three days off so that we could leave the field on our own, but continued with the demolition. , before leaving with our things. My shirt was torn in the fight. Just because we are poor does not mean we will suffer injustice. I will not leave this place until a new house will not be built for my family in another place,” Sagu said.
Local SDM Bihari Singh, however, denied claims that the “encroachments” were hastily removed. “The process has been going on for the past six months, as the land on which these houses have been built actually belongs to the local education department-stadium. The land without encroachment is to be used for the construction of a hostel for youth for promising players. All those living in the huts have already been allocated alternative land for dwellings in Alavada Khedi village in Mandsaur district only. We have all the documents with us, which establishes that these encroachments were removed only after granting a substantial hearing in tehsil to all who lived there. public lands,” Singh argued.
According to district administration sources, the family of the promising hockey player had also built a house on land they bought a few years ago near the land now allocated to them by the local administration.
The state’s junior hockey fullback, who is believed to have represented the state in at least six national tournaments at the sub-junior and junior levels, alleged that local government was not reporting the correct facts.
“As far as I know, no written document has been given to us proving that an alternative land has been allocated by the administration to house us. Even if the claims of the administration are to be believed, then also the where the field is given to us is far from the stadium, which makes it difficult for me to continue my hockey career,” she alleged.
Sagu lives in the hut (which was removed on Monday) with his widowed mother and two younger brothers near the busy BPL crossing, which is close to the stadium. With her mother, she cleaned to earn a living, after the death of her father and older brothers a few years ago.
She started playing hockey in 2015 and has never looked back since, being a staunch defender on the Women’s Junior and Junior MP team at national tournaments for the past six years. His inspiring story of dreaming of succeeding in hockey to help his family out of penury was recently aired on a German TV channel.