In a massive demolition drive over the weekend, the Bengaluru civic body, BBMP, razed off at least 100 makeshift homes, rendering as many as 300 people homeless.
The authorities who directed this demolition of shantytowns in Kariyammana Agrahara area and two other places in Bellandur believed these settlements belonged to illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
Reports suggested that all the residents whose homes were demolished have valid identity cards, including Aadhaar, pan and voter ID. Some of them who belong to Assam also have their names in the NRC.
The residents who are mostly migrants from Assam, Tripura, some even from North Karnataka, were allegedly asked to vacate the land without any prior notice, even when they had documents to prove their Indian citizenship.
Several sheds in Kariyammana Agrahara near Marathahalli demolished, migrants from Assam, Tripura, some from North Karnataka allegedly asked to vacate.— Revathi Rajeevan (@RevathiRajeevan) January 19, 2020
Police had issued notice to the owners of the land on Jan 11 saying there were illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in pic.twitter.com/bpvPaxOcsU
Later, reports emerged that the official who had passed the orders for demolition was not authorised to do so and has been suspended by the civic body. He had reportedly taken action after several residents of the area complained to him.
The MLA of the constituency under which this area falls also tweeted aerial shots of the slum calling them illegal settlements.
Few people have taken shelter under illegally constructed sheds located in Kariyammana Agrahara of Bellanduru which is within the jurisdiction of our Mahadevapura Assembly constituency. 1/3 pic.twitter.com/WjvmWlSE55— Aravind Limbavali (@ArvindLBJP) January 12, 2020
People are expressing their anger against the unauthorised and illegal demolition drive on social media.
The demolition drive of was unauthorised ??— K (@drpiscean) January 21, 2020
So hundreds of families were rendered homeless just because few privileged from a nearby apartment complex complained ?
The authorities didn’t even bother to check the papers but went on a demolition drive !https://t.co/VQEXVnn8bH
Here's an update. The BBMP has clarified that this was illegal and called for the suspension of the engineer who authorized it. Just a suspension.— Shariq Rafeek (@_riqsha) January 21, 2020
And why did this happen? Because people from nearby apartments complained. This is how class works.https://t.co/KvVmKwwARH
"He gave the order based on complaints by apartment residents in the area." Disgusting. The xenophobia of India's upper middle-classes laid bare. https://t.co/ah25nkkMlg— Karthik Krishnaswamy (@the_kk) January 21, 2020
It is inhuman to not provide for relief, for alternates, and IMPROVEMENTS so their lives meet the bare minimum standards of a dignified existence, before taking away what little they already have.https://t.co/sdr0oHFGKa— ಆರ್ ಸುನೀಲ್ firstname.lastname@example.org (@suneel_r) January 21, 2020
If a settlement or even a high rise building is over a lake, or if there are illegal immigrants etc, there are various laws that can be used. People need to be given notice and then evicted. That’s why there is procedure. Engineer suspended. https://t.co/jdvBsvK2mi— Dhanya Rajendran (@dhanyarajendran) January 21, 2020
Most of the residents of this slum have come to the city to earn a living and work as housekeeping and security staff and are now feeling helpless.