Thursday, January 18, 2018
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While welcoming the anti-encroachment drive launched by the civic bodies in the crowded Chowk area one would also like to say regretfully that the protests witnessed while the anti-encroachment operations were on did contain a strong message—a message that the civic bodies may not like to read. And that message is a clear indictment of those in the administration who did not prevent the encroachments when they were initially taking place and allowed the molehills to turn into mountains of folly.

If one regime takes a firm stand why does another regime spoil the show by reversing the trends? Those old timers, who have some memory about the ruthless manner in which Mahmud Butt acted despite the opposition, will also recall that none dared to hit back.
In Teliyarganj when an illegal structure was partially brought down, there were protests similar to the ones witnessed on Monday afternoon. In Taliyarganj protests became violent when the portico of a big illegal building was sought to be demolished. Some people just wouldn’t stop protesting. Butt told them bluntly that he will brook no interference. What is more Butt even warned the  protesters of dire consequences  if they continued to agitate for a wrong  cause. How can an illegal act be defended? But the crowd did not heed his warning. He ordered firing to disperse the crowd. One person was killed. This sparked off wild protests and even in Vidhan Sabha the matter was raised by Mrs Rajendra Kumari Bajpai, asking Chief Minister Charan Singh to remove Butt from Allahabad and punish him for murder. But Charan Suingh stood by Butt and told the Opposition: ‘If you want I can initiate an inquiry. When the inquiry commission submits  its  report and declares Butt guilty,  I will then take the required necessary action. But till then I will not touch Mahmood Butt”

Mahmood Butt was not an ordinary Nagar Ayukta.He had special powers   equal to those of  the Commissioner. That is why no district official could boss over him, interfere with his work or order him to do this and  that or not do this and that as well. Politicians also went threatening to him. One of them is reported to have told him, ‘Look, soon the time will come when we will send you packing from here’. Butt hit back by telling him: ‘You may do that. But right now I am the master and you will have to do what I tell you. And now get out from here’. A civic official then told me, ‘In Lok Nath, where it was impossible to ride a cycle through the jostling crowds, you can see trucks moving in and out freely’. That  was the fear. Today there is no such fear. No wonder encroachments take place. They are removed. The encroachers reappear and go on staying there till they are bundled out from there again. The cycle goes on. We need a man of guts who can remove the encroachments and prevent their return. This is very important.


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