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One lakh displaced; Haryana govt 'ignores' SC order to rehabilitate Khori Gaon people

By Ishita Chatterjee, Neelesh Kumar, Manju Menon, Vimal Bhai*

In Khori Gaon, hundreds of families have been displaced and thousands of houses are being brutally demolished each day. After the completion of the demolition drive, the destitute working-class residents are being forced to live without any shelter. They are also being immediately and forcibly removed from the area and being threatened with police action.
Despite the order of the Supreme Court on August 3, the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad has not provided any e-mail to the thousands of displaced residents to lodge complaints. No back office has been set up at Radha Swami Satsang Centre either.
Most of those uprooted from Khori Gaon in the recent demolition exercise were working class citizens. These people had built their small houses with their hard-earned money or by taking loans or by selling the land and property in their ancestral villages. The residents have witnessed very stressful times starting from July 14, 2021. They have suffered physical injuries and mental torture.
They have also been treated inhumanly and disrespectfully. After the lockdown enforced unemployment they were subjected to the brutal demolition exercise which has taken their homes away. Most residents are lying on the road or beside the remains of their demolished houses, some are living on rent while few are living with their relatives.
The Supreme Court in its order dated August 3 on page 4 had ordered that the Haryana government should finalize the rehabilitation policy framed by the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad for the desolate residents of Khori Gaon till the next date of hearing. Now since it is the Haryana government itself looking after the entire policy, it is necessary that the historical injustice is recognized and corrected.
Rekha, Pinki, Pushpa and other residents have repeatedly sent letters to the Haryana government, the litigants have appealed to the government that the government should simplify the process of rehabilitation and it should be made more inclusive. Their consent should also be taken.
After demolition of more than 10,000 houses, Supreme Court should also keep similar strict orders regarding rehabilitation
Mainly, the scope of eligibility should be increased whereby any voter ID card registered on any address, any documents of residence of Khori Gaon like family identity card, birth certificate, death certificate, marriage certificate, children's school admission papers, property papers, any of the land purchase documents, ration card, banking account, etc. should be considered as the basis of rehabilitation.
Everyone's house was demolished. Therefore, until there is proper rehabilitation for the people, there should be proper arrangements for food and shelter.
Due to the immediate eviction of thousands of families from Khori village, the rents of houses in the surrounding areas have increased rapidly. Therefore, rental allowance of houses should be made at least Rs 5,000 per family till proper rehabilitation is done.
It has also been repeatedly told to the government that the flats of Dabua Colony of Faridabad being given for rehabilitation are in very bad condition. There is no security of any kind. No electricity and water too. Most of the flats do not even have any windows or doors.
The Supreme Court, in its order dated June 7, 2021, had ordered the removal of possession from the forest land. The court had left the rehabilitation to the state government. After demolition of more than 10,000 houses and displacing more than lakh people in Khori Gaon, the Supreme Court should also keep similar strict orders regarding rehabilitation.
The Haryana government should issue an email to register complaints and set up a backup office on Radha Swami Satsang urgently. It should prepare a rehabilitation policy which takes into consideration the historical injustices faced by the residents of Khori Gaon and caters to the needs of the suffering citizens.
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On behalf of Concerned Citizens for Khori Gaon and National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)

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