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Municipal council rejects stall-owners’ claims

Dimapur, February 25 (MExN): The “stall allotees” of New Market area in Dimapur have accused Dimapur Municipal Council of “breaching the stay order” issued by the Gauhati High Court in relation to the demolition of stalls. In reaction, the municipal council has in outright denied violating the stay order, stating that the order was received on February 23 at 3:00pm and the demolition works were already completed on February 21.
A press statement issued by the tenants claimed that the stalls/rooms were built by the “allotees” with ‘their own expenditure’ according to the specifications given by the then Dimapur Town Council (now DMC). The case was registered on February 21 and accordingly Justice BD Agarwal directed the respondent – CEO of DMC – that “...until the returnable date, the respondent is directed not to vacate the petitioners from their shophouse.” The CEO of DMC received a copy of the court directives only on February 23.
However, a rejoinder issued by the advisor-in-charge development branch of DMC stated: “ is to clarify that there is no court ligation or stay order against the other buildings where the demolition work is in progress. Therefore, floating of honourable High Court order does not arise.”
The DMC reminded that the demolition works started only after the joint meeting was held with the “DMC stall allottees” on February 12 followed by a seven-day notice of eviction. Further another three days extension was given as a grace period, the municipal council reminded.
The council has asked the tenants not to mislead the court as the ongoing demolition work is for the safety of the public in fact.
On being contacted on the issue, a petitioner said that the “allotees” had a meeting with the DMC officials but the “allotees” were “not allowed to talk” and their signatures were taken ‘stating that it was for the purpose of attendance.’ It was alleged that even after the court had issued the stay order, the DMC carried out demolition works. “...they are threatening our rights,” the source claimed.
The “allotees” were given verbal assurance by the DMC for compensation or reallocation of the stalls, however they want the assurance in ‘written’, it is learned. The demolition has affected 18 stalls. The hearing of the case is scheduled on February 28.

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