Nuh violence latest: Over 350 shanties and 50 cement structures were demolished in four days.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday issued a strongly worded order halting bulldozer action in communal violence-hit Nuh and Gurugram, and questioned whether the buildings belonging to a particular community were being brought down under the guise of a law and order problem. While issuing notice to the Haryana government, the court also made an "ethnic cleansing" reference.
"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 said.
The court, referring to Haryana Home Minister Anil Vij's remark that bulldozers were part of ilaaj (treatment) as the state government is probing communal violence, made a scathing comment through a quote by English writer and historian Lord Acton.
"Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely," the court quoted Lord Acton in its order issuing notice to the state government.
"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 court further said while referring to media reports claiming the houses and shops were being demolished as some of those involved in "anti-social activity" have made illegal constructions.
The court directed the Haryana government to furnish an affidavit as to how many buildings have been demolished in the last two weeks, both in Nuh and Gurugram, and whether any notice was issued before demolition.
Deputy Commissioner Dhirendra Khadgata on Monday asked officials concerned to stop the bulldozer action following the high court ruling. The court took up the matter suo motu a week after communal clashes in Haryana claimed six lives, led to a huge loss of property and sparked panic in Nuh and Gurugram.
Over 350 shanties and 50 cement structures were demolished in the four days of demolition.