Skip to main content

Mumbai slum demolition began 10 hrs before notice period was to end, sans any rehabilitation: GBGBA

By Our Representative
Why did hundreds of shanties go up in flames amidst the demolition drive undertaken by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) on Friday? In a strongly-worded statement, the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA), a Mumbai-based civil rights organization, has blamed it on accidents caused by gas cylinders getting exploded and a "response" to the surprise BMC more.
Pointing out that the BMC is now up for "second phase of demolition without offering any relief/rehabilitation", GBGBA says, it has been "flouting basic norms to be followed before any eviction and the police is harassing the evicted persons who are living in open and have nowhere to go."
Calling it "the most brutal demolition drive carried out by the BMC", leading to "burning of hundreds of shanties of poor", GBGBA said, the BMC "issued a 48 hours’ notice prior to the demolition drive; however, it came down to demolish shanties merely after 15 hours in a total surprise manner without even allowing people to save their belongings or move to a safer place."
Pointing out that that the BMC is wrongfully "putting blame on the slum dwellers for causing fire to save their house", GBGBA said, "If someone believes BMC then one can imagine the magnitude of helplessness of those who went to the extent of burning their own houses."
"Seriousness of a 48 hours’ notice can be understood by the order of the Bombay High Court passed on Friday in which it stayed the demolition of another slum", GBGBA insisted, adding, "Activists of GBGBA pointed this out before the Bombay High Court on Friday when the revenue officials came to demolish the slum in Four Bungalows in Versova named Siddharth Nagar. This slum is saved as of now."
Pointing out that "those who have been evicted from Garib Nagar are left to live in open without any rehabilitation or relief offered to them", GBGBA said, "Even this was not enough; police kept on thrashing those living on road and even threatening to arrest the evicted persons."
"Since the demolition was surprise in nature, nobody got the chance to save their belonging. There is a greater chance of bursting one or the other gas cylinder that were kept in almost all the houses. Locals even allege that the power supply was not cut before carrying out the demolition", claimed GBGBA.
It added, "BMC’s cold heartedness can be seen in the videos in which bulldozer found continuing demolition even when houses were burning", adding, "The demolition is being carried out at the behest of a Bombay high Court’s order, which only ordered removal of shanties near the Tansa pipeline."
"However, nowhere in the order did the court ask the civic body to resort to such brutalities. Evictions have been taking place in other parts of Mumbai of the shanties near Tansa pipeline followed by rehabilitation; however in no other case such atrocities were faced by the shanty dwellers."
"Putting blame for causing fire, on the poor resident with least representation becomes easy and easier especially when it is a Muslim majority settlement", argues GBGBA, adding, "Evicted persons are getting two times meals from local community kitchen, thanks to local shopkeepers' and residents' efforts."

Comments

TRENDING

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

J&K Governor's rule: BJP's "failure" to go ahead with 44-plus strategy

By Syed Mujtaba Hussian*
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) continues to witness cataclysm of events ever since the killing of editor-in-chief of “Rising Kashmir”, Shujaat Bukhari, followed by the BJP’s deliberated parting of ways with its coalition partner, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and imposition of Governor rule.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.