Ahmedabad, April 12 (IANS) Five shopkeepers died and one was left seriously injured on Tuesday when a wall fell on them during a demolition drive by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation here.
The incident occurred in Nikol area of the city when the drive was being carried out to remove as many as 350 unauthorised buildings of the area, but the residents began opposing the demolition and mobbed the civic officials.
A mob prevented them from carrying out demolition and blocked excavators just as the civic officials arrived at the site and began their drive.
The protesting crowd was soon dispersed by police.
The officials resumed with their demolition drive despite the protests and during the prevailing chaos a wall collapsed on six people, killing five of them instantly.
Situation turned tense and the relatives and residents refused to take the bodies for the last rites.
None of the senior AMC officials or political leaders visited the area to pacify the crowds. It was only after intervention of the Ahmedabad police commissioner that the situation could be brought under control.
The municipal authorities claimed the civic body followed legal procedures and had commenced demolition only after getting a court order. Residents, however, said they had been issued a notice three years ago and not before the latest drive was launched.
Though local authorities suspended the demolition drive after the unfortunate incident, the residents issued a bandh (shut-down) call in the area against what they called the high-handedness of the municipal officials.