Skip to main content

Himachal slum demolition sans rehab plan: Oustees warned they can't live in rented houses, left to live in open

By Our Representative
There is flutter in Himachal Pradesh over the manner in which Municipal Corporation Dharamsala (MCD) forcefully eviction around1,500 people -- 300 families -- from well-known hill station Dharmasala's 35-year-old slum area, Charan Khad. Not only the families were ousted, they were "refused" even rented accommodation.
The National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), an apex body of a large number of mass organizations, quoted local sources as saying that things got worse after the MCD, through a press note issued on June 21, went so far as to state that anyone who provided accommodation to slum dwellers would be liable for action by the MCD, and that they would evict the occupants.
The NAPM reported, “Following this people were thrown out of rented accommodations. They now have nowhere to go – most of the people's children are studying in government schools in Dharamsala.”
Human rights activists, social activists and members of a people's organization, Charan Sangharsh Samiti, met Joint Commissioner SK Chaudhari of the MCD, who has issued the eviction orders,  but he refused to take any responsibility for his actions or respond to the demand for rehabilitation.
“Based on the above circumstances the settlers have no choice but to struggle for their right to housing/shelter”, local sources said, adding, “We need to get the district commissioner, the joint commissioner, and the superintendent of police to get phone calls and SMS from outside, asking why the illegal eviction took place, and asking the administration to take responsibility and respond to the demand for rehabilitation immediately.”
Providing the number of joint commissioner (9418456640), the sources insisted, the demolition is unconstitutional and illegal, that the that the residents of the slum are on the road and at the mercy of weather, that that they need to rehabilitate and give some relief to the residents, and that this is violation of right to shelter under the Constitution.
“The MCD provided no rehabilitation and just dumped the occupants across villages, forests and roadsides around Dharamsala”, the sources said, adding, “Some people sat on common lands, some on lands rented by locals and others rented out rooms while many were roaming the streets – children, women, old, disabled spending nights hungry in the rain.”
Noting that at many places “locals shunted out the occupants and threatened to burn their belongings”, the activist said, the joint commissioner further aggravated the situation by warning that they would not be allowed to live even in rented houses.
“They were not dropped at one place but in small groups across the valley... In some places the locals have threatened them and chased them away but in many others people have been supportive. Children and women, pregnant, ill, exhausted have been braving the rains without any shelter”, the sources said.
“This eviction was done with no adequate procedure and it was the legal duty and responsibility of the state government to rehabilitate them before the ‪eviction drive was carried out”, the sources said, adding, it is a “shame on the Dharamsala administration”, asking people to “write to the district commissioner's office with questions and appeals for action/rehabilitation at dc-kan-hp@nic.in.”
Meanwhile, on Saturday, about 150 people of the Charan Khad slum displaced communities organised a protest march against the forced eviction. The displaced people marched from the Shahid Marg park to the Municipal Corporation office, Dharamshala, raising slogans like ‘Garibo ko Ujadna Bandh Karo’, ‘Charan Khad Visthapiton ka Punarwas Karo’.

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Contempt of court? UP CM taking 'personal vendetta' against Dr Kafeel Khan: Activists

Counterview Desk
Demanding that the Uttar Pradesh government immediately release well-known paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan, a group of more than 100 academicians, activists, researchers, doctors and lawyers have said in an open letter that he is being “targeted at the behest of the chief minister”, wondering, “When is an act of challenging the government a threat under the National Security Act (NSA)?”

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

ASI has 'no funds' to protect five centuries old Goa church, a World Heritage Site

Counterview Desk
The century-old All-India Catholic Union (AICU), the largest Laity movement in Asia, has blamed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for neglecting the historic Bom Jesu church by keeping its ceilings  open to the vagaries weather, with no steps  taken to protect the five century old monument from damage on account of impending rains on the lame excuse that there are "no funds". In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, AICU simultaneously asks the Government of India to devise a "comprehensive" national social security safety net, universal health Insurance and medical Infrastructure so that the “calamity” that has befalenl millions of migrant labour and jobless rural and urban poor in “the Covid pandemic-driven lockdown is “never repeated.”

Withdraw sedition charges against three young women activists: 1100 feminists

Counterview Desk
About 1,100 feminists from all over India – organisations and individuals across religion, class, caste, ethnicity, ability, sexuality and genders – have issued a solidarity statement condemning what they have called “the targeted crackdown on Muslims and women activists in Delhi”, who were at the forefront of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).

Will Govt of India, ICMR end 'perverse' practice of extracting profits from ill-health?

By Asmita Verma, Surabhi Agarwal, Bobby Ramakant*
The Epidemics Act, 1897 gives the central and state governments authority to impose any regulations which may be necessary to contain the outbreak of a disease. Some state governments such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh have already used this power to bring private healthcare facilities in their state under government control.

Tablighis or Namaste Trump? Rupani must 'clarify' on origin of Covid-19 in Gujarat

By Mujahid Nafees* In his video communication on April 24, 2020, chief minister Vijay Rupani informed us that in the month of March the Gujarat government had quarantined 6,000 people returning from abroad in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19 pandemic. He further asserted that the spread of Covid-19 was caused by the tablighis returning from Nizamuddin in Delhi. His statements were widely publicized and given front page coverage by some local dailies.

Coping with Covid-19? Options before small, marginal farmers of rainfed regions

By Biswanath Sinha, Kuntal Mukherjee*
The global crisis due to Covid-19 has hit after reaching in western Europe. India’s response to curtail the spread of the disease was quite decisive. It announced a Janata curfew on the March 22, followed by a complete national lockdown from the midnight of March 24.

'Violation' of migrant workers' human rights: Legal notice to IIM-A director, govt babus

By Our Representative
Taking strong exception to the police action against protesting migrant workers off the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) on May 18, senior Gujarat High Court advocate Anandvardhan Yagnik, in a legal notice to the IIM-A director "on their behalf" has said that the workers had only been seeking to to go back to their home states, Jharkhand and West Bengal, for the last more than 20 days because they were not paid their “earned wages because of the lockdown.”