“Never was such a great human tragedy caused in any part of the world” The Unknown story of Turkman Gate Massacre perpetrated by Sanjay Gandhi

“Nothing is important to us than Power”. This is the motto of so-called Gandhi family which never cared about anything else. This family has always shamed the democracy with their heinous acts. In the lust for power, they had always fallen to such a low extent that humanity seems at a par from them.

It is well known to everyone how the Gandhi family has exploited the people during the darker phase of emergency but there are some other gruesome happenings of the time that went under the carpet but tortured people to the aspect that one would be ashamed of. You will be shocked to know about one such happening during that phase for which people were persuaded, threatened and coerced.

This is the story of ‘The Turkman Gate Incident’ of 1976 that even listened or read today, shakes one to the core. Sanjay Gandhi, a cruel and arrogant politician under his mother Indira Gandhi was the executor of this heinous crime. His sudden desire of “Beautification of Delhi” was making him mad. He was crossing every limit to get it done even if it includes the lives of people. The whole machinery was working under the orders of Sanjay Gandhi to perpetrate this heinous crime.

Lakhs of people were displaced from slums and commercial properties including large areas of the old city. Next target on the line was Turkman Gate, the home to many Muslims. A feeling of uneasiness had already started creeping upon the residents when they realised the demolition squad would refuse to leave and their houses would be next.

Feared by this the residents sought the help of Ruksana Sultana, a close aide of Sanjay Gandhi, who used to be the Youth Congress’s supreme command at that time. Sultana was already accompanying Sanjay Gandhi in his other heinous crime of forcefully sterilizing the people. She agreed to help the residents of Turkman Gate on the condition that the residents should help her set up clinic in the area and provide her with 300 sterilization cases in a week.

Helpless residents when saw nothing working out approached to the Vice-Chairman of Delhi Development Authority, Jagmohan. They asked him to make some settlement for “Turkman Gate” residents and resettle them into a single colony known as ‘Welcome’ or the nearby colony of Seelampur in East Delhi. But got the terrifying answer from the Chairman “Do you think we are mad to destroy one Pakistan to create another Pakistan?” as in the eyes of Sanjay Gandhi this area was a small Pakistan.

The mounting tensions led people to protest and call for general strike around the entire area including Turkman Gate. Police intervened and clashes erupted. Women and children were at its centre as they stand on the road, fighting for their homes from being demolished. Sanjay Gandhi was watching all this from the balcony of a distant hotel as bulldozers were razing through Turkman Gate. The Central Reserve Police Force was kept on standby with arms ready.

In order to safeguard themselves from the stoning by the people, the officials were ordered to throw stones themselves first. Later the clashes got more worsened with the use of sticks and tear gas. People went to nearby Faiz-e-Elahi Mosque to save themselves where they were gassed out and abused physically and verbally by the officials. The mosque was attacked and the cashbox of the mosque was looted by the policemen.

The screams and tear gas were all over in the air. The Commissioner of Police ordered reinforcements armed with bayonets to kill as blood flowed down the Turkman Gate. Women were being raped and killed by the constables. The electricity of the area was cut off and bulldozers were run over the innocent women who were fighting for the basic right to retain their homes along with their children. The Turkmen Gate was finally demolished.

According to Shah Commission Report, under this move of the scion of Gandhi family almost 700,000 people were displaced from slums and commercial properties over a period of 21 months, including large areas of the old city. Shah Commission report has described it as a very inferior, greedy, inhumane and unfortunate event.

The scion of Gandhi family was enjoying all this quietly. Under the wrap of his desire “Beautification of Delhi” lakhs of people were made to suffer. But to him what was more important than lives of people was his wish and drive. Some people are of the view that he wanted to build “Sanjay Minar” there while other hold opinion that this all was done so that he could enjoy a clear view of India Gate from the Jama Masjid.

Different observers has stated different opinions about this horrific incident. Some termed it all happened due to “sterilization drive” while others stated “the demolition drive” reason for its occurrence. Whatever it may be both are the shameful acts of displaying power and fulfilling personal motives on the cost of lives of others.

Sources: TimesOfIndia

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