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IMMEDIATE RELEASE–Demolition of EWS quarters and the Eviction of Residents

PRESS RELEASE
Demolition of EWS quarters and the Eviction of Residents
Saturday, January 19, 2013, Bangalore

The BBMP today began demolition of homes and evicting residents from the EWS quarters at Ejipura. During the process of demolition and eviction protestors were lathi charged, physically dragged by the police and arrested – all of them women. They have been remanded to judicial custody till next Tuesday. These women have been separated from their families and homes, and cannot protect their shelters and belongings from the demolition bulldozers.

The BBMP official, B T Ramesh who was at the spot could not produce any official documents that showed that he and his crew had the authority to demolish structures and evict residents. Nor did he produce any copy of the notification supposedly shared with the residents a month back. Notices which the BBMP claimed were pasted on the houses, were not visible on any of the houses. All the residents that we spoke to had not been notified and were unaware of this demolition drive.

In a meeting with the BBMP Commissioner today, Mr. Siddaiah agreed to stop demolitions of the occupied homes and to give a time period of 3 months for evacuation. In fact, Mr. Siddaiah called BT Ramesh in presence of activists and EWS residents. However, the demolition continued unabated; Mr. Ramesh insisted on a written order from Commissioners office, who conveniently disappeared by then. As of this afternoon, the police had given a 6 pm notice to the residents to clear their belongings. As of now, it is reported that as many as 500 homes have been razed to the ground by the BBMP bulldozers today. Many families are out on the streets, since they do not have the finances or support to re-locate. Children whose mothers were arrested are in streets – searching them. Women cry helpless, not knowing where to take their young and old.

We, the members of civil society, representing different organisations (PUCL, PDF, and Concern) condemn the deplorable and inhuman way the demolitions, police violence and evictions have been implemented. We call for an immediate and complete halt to the eviction of residents and the demolition of occupied homes in the EWS quarters. We further demand that all charges against the residents and activists be dropped.

Right to shelter is one of the principle rights enshrined in Article 21 of our constitution. A state, under no circumstance, has a right to go against either the letter or the spirit of this right without providing alternative arrangements for all those it renders homeless. Further the police protection of demolitions does not legitimise its use of brute force and physical violence against the weakest in our society – who are but protesting, losing their all.

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Issued by: People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), People’s Democratic Forum (PDF) & Concern – Bangalore

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Comments (6)

  1. Videh Kumar

    BJP led govts in all places believe in India Shining and this attitude does not tolerate any sight of poor, people from EWS, people from disadvantaged groups of societies, people living in villages or in Jungle. What police does is what their political master wish and not what their duty is, what their oath was at the time of their recruitments or what their loving parents and teachers might have taught during their upbringings. So sad of these so called law enforcers for their acts of doing their duties otherwise.

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