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

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

'These people shouldn't be in jail': UN official seeks release of 16 human rights defenders

By Our Representative A United Nations human rights official has called upon the Government of India (GoI) to “immediately release" 16 human rights defenders who have been imprisoned on charges of terrorism in the Bhima-Koregaon Case, insisting, “These people should not be in jail. They are our modern-day heroes and we should all be looking to them and supporting them and demanding their release.”  

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

Evolution of Sardar Patel's understanding of those 'involved' in Gandhi's assassination

By Shamsul Islam*  As the world mourns the 73rd anniversary of MK Gandhi's assassination by Hindutva terrorists on January 30, 1948, RSS, the most prominent flag-bearer of Hindutva politics, whose cadres rule India today, is found reacting angrily to the reality – that the criminals who assassinated Gandhiji were not only part of the ideological world-view of Hindu Mahasabha (led by VD Savarkar) and RSS brand of Hindu nationalism but were also connected with these. 

No Election Commission safeguard against electromagnetic hacking of EVM: Study

Counterview Desk  Releasing a new study simultaneously in Chennai and Kolkata in view of the forthcoming elections in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, the Citizens’ Commission on Elections (CCE) – a civil society initiative – has regretted “lack of integrity of EVM voting”, pointing out, the Election Commission of India (ECI) does not appear to safeguard against the possibilities of ‘side-channel attacks’, i.e, hacking electronic devices through electromagnetic and other methods.

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

Top academic claims he warned farmer leaders of Hindutva plot on Jan 26 morning

By Shamsul Islam* The photographs here show a Hindutva protagonist, Deep Sidhu, with his real masters. He is said to be the culprit who tried to derail the historic farmers' struggle by putting up a religious flag at Red Fort on January 26, with no Delhi police which works under the Indian home minister Amit Shah, a senior RSS cadre who is often described 'Iron Man' by Hindutva camp-followers.