Turkman gate demolition and rioting

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Turkman gate demolition and firing was an infamous case of political oppression and police brutality during the Emergency when the police shot and killed people protesting against demolitions of their houses ordered by Indira Gandhi's government in 1976.[1] Total number of deaths are more and one local guide claimed that nine of his friends were killed by police.[2] Official account of number of people killed at Turkman gate is not available and media was not allowed to cover the riot and massacre.[3] More than 10 bulldozers razed down unauthorised houses and police resorted to firing on people who protested against the slum clearance.[4]

During the Emergency, Indira Gandhi's government prompted by her son Sanjay launched the demolition drive to cleanse Delhi of slums and force poor residents to leave Delhi and move to distant settlements. The residents of Turkman Gate mostly Muslims refused to move as they would have to commute every day paying heavy bus fares to reach the city to earn their living. They resisted the bulldozing of their houses. On 18 April 1976, the police opened fire on protesters killing several of them. The government who had earlier imposed censorship ordered the newspapers not to report the massacre. Indian public came to know about killings through foreign media like BBC. It was later reported that protesting people were ran over by Bulldozers, resulting in several deaths.[4]

Total deaths[edit]

Shah Commission report recorded statements of police officers and one office admitted that at least 20 civilians died due to firing.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "May 31, 1978, Forty Years Ago: Turkman Gate Report". The Indian Express. 31 May 2018. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  2. ^ Raza, Danish (29 June 2015). "Tragedy at Turkman Gate: Witnesses recount horror of Emergency". Hindustan Times. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  3. ^ Talukdar, Sreemoy (27 June 2018). "Comparing Modi regime with Indira's Emergency is nonsense; it dilutes the horrors of Indian democracy's darkest chapter". website. Linked in. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b John Dayal, Ajay Bose, (26 June 2015). "The Khooni Kissa of Turkman Gate". The wire newspaper. The wire. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  5. ^ Shah, Justice. "Shah Commission Report". archive.org. Retrieved 5 July 2018.

External links[edit]