Eviction drives for G20 Summit make thousands homeless in Delhi?

New Delhi, March 27 (KMS): Over the past six months, hundreds of eviction drives have taken place across the Indian capital city New Delhi leaving thousands of people homeless with the authorities razing their homes without giving any thought to their rehabilitation or resettlement.

The demolitions are being carried out without any study and purportedly in the wake of the G20 summit among other reasons”, Sunil Kumar Aledia, Executive Director of the Centre for Holistic Development, said in a petition before the Delhi High Court

The most marginalised segments of society and the have-nots are paying a heavy price as the authorities apparently are trying to spruce up the capital city for the upcoming G20 summit.

The Group of 20 (G20) is a forum of the largest industrialised and developing nations in the world which will take place in New Delhi in September 2023 as part of India’s G20 presidency.

The latest eviction drive was carried out in Moolchand Basti on Monday, March 20, wherein nearly 50 houses, belonging to urban agriculturists and dairy workers, were razed to the ground. The inhabitants, all from the economically weaker sections of society, were occupying their houses for decades.

Moolchand Basti was home to nearly 50 families and now they all are forced to live on streets in makeshift shelters which offer little or no protection from the vagaries of weather and other dangers associated with living in the open.

Rekha, 39, a resident of Moolchand Basti, told Clarion India, “We were inhumanely dragged out of the houses. All this was done without any prior information or intimation to the residents, without even ensuring any rehabilitation or relocation.”

She said, “We have been living here for decades. We have all the documents to substantiate that we have been living here since 1913. But they just came with bulldozers and asked us to vacate our homes.”

Her voice choked as she recalled an official telling her: “Tumhare baap ki zameen nahi hai yeh, niklo yahan se (This is not your father’s land, get out of here).”

“Didi koi insaniyat nahi hai kya, aise kaise chale jayen (Sister, is there no humanity left, how can we leave like this?” she asked, speaking to Clarion India. The residents said they were not given any reason before razing their homes. “They did not even let us collect our things,” Rekha said.

She said that Delhi Police were harassing her and her family and asking them to go to “rain basera”, temporary night shelters established by Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB).

Hira Lal, 49, who works as a painter, said his small, crudely built shack was still intact. But he is apprehensive that the authorities could demolish it any time soon. He said, “We were just sitting and they came with bulldozers and 19 families went homeless in a jiffy.”

A similar eviction drive also took place at Jawahar Shramik Sathal on Yamuna Pushta on Friday, 10 March. Here too, marauding bulldozers demolished at least eight night shelters near the Interstate Bus Terminal at Kashmere Gate.

The demolition drive met with stiff resistance from the residents, who told media men that they have been living in the area for generations and now have nowhere else to go.

Human rights groups, while condemning such a move, said it clearly violates the rights of the affected residents.

Sunil Kumar Aledia, Executive Director of an organisation called the government for Holistic Development, told media men, “This is being done to cover up the real side of India. The poor are being removed completely from the sight of the foreign delegates who will attend the G20 summit.”

“How come the urban development minister has no information on these eviction drives? How can he be unaware that all these people are going to be homeless?” he asked.

Executive Director of an organisation , Aledia said that a night shelter at Sarai Kale Khan was demolished on 15 February “without any prior information.”

Approximately 1,185 people were made homeless without any notice. “These demolitions are being carried out without any study and purportedly in the wake of the G20 summit among other reasons”, Aledia said in the petition.

Human rights groups, working in various areas to facilitate, rehabilitate and provide relief to these homeless people, have also raised concerns over the demolition process. KMS—23R
[9:07 PM, 3/27/2023] KMS Arif Khan: Kashmiris Diaspora should fully expose Indian rights abuses in IIOJK: Sultan

Islamabad, March 27 (KMS): The President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry, on Monday said the Kashmiri Diaspora in the United Kingdom should play their due role in fully exposing ugly face of India’s fascist government and the worst human rights violations being committed by its troops in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

According to Kashmir Media Service, Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry was talking to Chaudhry Khadim Hussain, President of Kashmir Peace Forum International Midland, who called on him at the Kashmir House in Islamabad, today.

Referring to the worsening political and human rights situation in the IIOJK, he said India had broken all records of brutality in the occupied territory. He said, “Under the given circumstances, it was our shared responsibility to draw world attention towards the plight of our Kashmiri brethren who were being humiliated, harassed and even killed by Indian forces. It is our responsibility to expose Modi’s malicious ambitions as well as his nefarious designs in the region.”

Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry on the occasion appreciated the efforts made by the Kashmir Peace Forum International to highlight the Kashmir dispute in the UK.

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