Turkman gate demolition and rioting

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Turkman Gate incident
Part of The Emergency of 1975–1977
Turkman gate view.JPG
An image of Turkman Gate.
Date31 May 1976; 46 years ago (31 May 1976)
Caused byPolitical repression and police brutality
GoalsDemolition of Turkman Gate.
MethodsRioting, protests and demonstrations
Parties to the civil conflict
Residing people
Lead figures
  • 10 deaths (Official)
  • 9 deaths (Police source)

The 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] An official account of the number of people killed at Turkman gate is not available and the media was not allowed to cover the riot and massacre.[2] One local guide claimed that nine of his friends were killed by police.[3] More than ten bulldozers razed unauthorized houses and police fired on those protesting 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, refused to move as they stayed there from Mughal period (this was an internal part of the walled city) and 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. The Indian public learned of the killings through foreign media such as the BBC. It was later reported that protesters were run over by bulldozers, resulting in several deaths.[4]

Total deaths[edit]

Shah Commission report recorded statements of police officers and one officer admitted that at least twenty civilians died from gunfire.[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. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Raza, Danish (29 June 2015). "Tragedy at Turkman Gate: Witnesses recount horror of Emergency". Hindustan Times. 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]

Coordinates: 28°38′32″N 77°13′57″E / 28.642231°N 77.232591°E / 28.642231; 77.232591