Skip to main content

Supreme Court 'shouldn't be adamant', reconsider eviction order of Haryana villagers

By Nirmal Gorana*

The 50-year-old secular Khori village, near Suraj Kund tourist spot (Faridabad, Harayana), inhabited by various sections is on the verge of being uprooted because of the Supreme Court order. Despite the existence of various farmhouses and high rise hotel buildings , the government and the administration is only eyeing these 10,000 houses which house more than 1 lakh people.
Portions of land have been sold by the land mafias to the poor labourers under the nose of any authority without any objection. When in fact ,most of the labourers have been granted with their Aadhar cards. A resident welfare association was formed by the people of Khori and in 2010 problems of stay and rehabilitation of these residents was put before Punjab and Haryana High court.
This hearing took place on April 25, 2016 and April 29, 2016 where the labourers were assured rehabilitation but the promises remained unfulfilled. In 2017 Faridabad Municipal Corporation challenged this order in the Supreme Court.
In 2020, during the pandemic, the Supreme Court ordered removal of illegal encroachment on February 19. The labourers were asked to submit their legal documents by the Municipal Corporation but due to imposition of the nationwide lockdown amid the pandemic, these documents could not be submitted.
In September 2020, more than 1,700 houses were demolished by the Faridabad municipal corporation. Bandhua Mukti Morcha and Rashtriya Mazdur Aawas Sangharsh Samiti carried out sit-in protests and demanded rehabilitation for these poor labourers.
According to the Haryana Urban development Authority in 2010, rehabilitation would be granted only to the people residing in Khori before 2003. Because of this injustice faced by people, a PIL was filed in the Punjab and Haryana high court. However despite several hearings, the high court denied the stay as the matter was still pending in the supreme court.
Three hundred houses were again demolished by the municipal corporation on April 2, 2021. A PIL was filed in the Supreme Court (SLP) under Sareena Sarkar v State of Haryana where it prayed for immediate stay, but on June 7, 2021,the Supreme Court ordered to evict residents of Khori from the forest area within six weeks.
The decision was unwelcome and the residents of Khori protested against the order which led to the arrest of the protesters who were put under false charges. FIRs were filed on June 14 and 15 against protesters who were approximately more than 150 in number. Following this incident electricity and water supply was also cut off.
On June 15, 2021, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves visited Khori to take a report of the ground situation and brief the residents of the village about the order. On the same day, I was arrested by the Suraj Kund police and was put under police custody where I faced physical and mental abuse/ torture. He was repeatedly asked to go against his will to sign a blank paper which he refused. The police even threated and defamed me. Several charges were put against me, including section 180 CrPC.
I was produced before the magistrate by the Faridabad district court on June 16. However, I was released on bail despite the police demanding remand of three days. Till now more than 20 people have been put in jail and two people are still locked up for which these human rights lawyers are meticulously trying to get them released.
A number of online campaigns were organised by various organisations for the rehabilitation of the Khori villagers. More than 20,000 tweets and 1,500 emails were addressed to the District Commissioner, municipal corporation and the chief minister of Haryana.An ongoing struggle on workers housing by Bandhua Mukti Morcha, Rashtra Mazdur Awaas Sangharsha Samiti, Working Peoples Charter, Habitat & Livelihood Welfare Association, Basti Suraksha Manch ,National Alliance of People's Movements, Housing and Land Rights Network and Indo-Global Social Service Society is still in continuation.
On June 18, a press conference was organised by Bandhua Mukti Morcha where Medha Patkar, social activist, along with Colin Gonsalves, and I addressed the plight of Khori Gaon residents.
“Is the cut off date only for the marginalised people and not for the privileged? Right to shelter that comes under Right to Life and Liberty under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution should at least be granted to each and every individual. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the displacement of people should be stopped", Medha Patkar said.
"The people protesting against the eviction are not terrorists but social workers fighting under the constitutional machinery. It is suggested not to evict but provide rehabilitation to the people who once displaced would be deprived of any shelter”, she added.
I told the media, “Several labourers in the sit-in protests were manhandled by the police and were charged with multiple sections threatening to throw them behind bars. The eviction order would lead to a murder between the person and his land. Had the people of these marginalise section from rural spaces had some relief or opportunity in their areas, they would not have come to Khori and settled there."
On behalf of labourers, I would like to appeal that, if a labourer approaches the Supreme Court, it should reconsider its decision on the eviction order rather than staying adamant.
---
*General Secretary, Bandhua Mukti Morcha, New Delhi

Comments

TRENDING

What's Bill Gates up to? Have 'irregularities' found in funding HPV vaccine trials faded?

By Colin Gonsalves*  After having read the 72nd report of the Department Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on alleged irregularities in the conduct of studies using HPV vaccines by PATH in India, it was startling to see Bill Gates bobbing his head up and down and smiling ingratiatingly on prime time television while the Prime Minister lectured him in Hindi on his plans for the country. 

Muted profit margins, moderate increase in costs and sales: IIM-A survey of 1000 cos

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad’s (IIM-A's) latest Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES) has said that the cost perceptions data obtained from India’s business executives suggests that there is “mild increase in cost pressures”.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Govt putting India's professionals, skilled, unskilled labour 'at mercy of' big business

By Thomas Franco, Dinesh Abrol*  As it is impossible to refute the report of the International Labour Organisation, Chief Economic Advisor Anantha Nageswaran recently said that the government cannot solve all social, economic problems like unemployment and social security. He blamed the youth for not acquiring enough skills to get employment. Then can’t the people ask, ‘Why do we have a government? Is it not the government’s responsibility to provide adequate employment to its citizens?’

IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

'Flawed' argument: Gandhi had minimal role, naval mutinies alone led to Independence

Counterview Desk Reacting to a Counterview  story , "Rewiring history? Bose, not Gandhi, was real Father of Nation: British PM Attlee 'cited'" (January 26, 2016), an avid reader has forwarded  reaction  in the form of a  link , which carries the article "Did Atlee say Gandhi had minimal role in Independence? #FactCheck", published in the site satyagrahis.in. The satyagraha.in article seeks to debunk the view, reported in the Counterview story, taken by retired army officer GD Bakshi in his book, “Bose: An Indian Samurai”, which claims that Gandhiji had a minimal role to play in India's freedom struggle, and that it was Netaji who played the crucial role. We reproduce the satyagraha.in article here. Text: Nowadays it is said by many MK Gandhi critics that Clement Atlee made a statement in which he said Gandhi has ‘minimal’ role in India's independence and gave credit to naval mutinies and with this statement, they concluded the whole freedom struggle.

Youth as game changers in Lok Sabha polls? Young voter registration 'is so very low'

By Dr Mansee Bal Bhargava*  Young voters will be the game changers in 2024. Do they realise this? Does it matter to them? If it does, what they should/must vote for? India’s population of nearly 1.3 billion has about one-fifth 19.1% as youth. With 66% of its population (808 million) below the age of 35, India has the world's largest youth population. Among them, less than 40% of those who turned 18 or 19 have registered themselves for 2024 election. According to the Election Commission of India (ECI), just above 1.8 crore new voters (18-and 19-year-olds) are on the electoral rolls/registration out of the total projected 4.9 crore new voters in this age group.