BBMP demolished many huts in a settlement in Bengaluru over a verbal complaint by locals that illegal Bangladeshi immigrants stayed there.
Karnataka| Young volunteers are helping in the rehabilitation of a settlement of Indian migrants which was demolished by BBMP two weeks ago over the fear of Bangladeshi immigrants living there. The volunteers also distributed Rice, Flour, Pulses, Oil and Salt for a month to 70+ families whose houses were demolished.
The huts were razed after BJP MLA Arvind Limbavalli tweeted: “Few people have taken shelter under illegally constructed sheds located in Kariyammana Agrahara of Bellandur which is within the jurisdiction of our Mahadevapura Assembly constituency (sic).” He also shared a video clip showing the huts in the area.
In a series of tweets, he said: “illegal activities were taking place in the sheds”.
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
The BBMP contractor who carried out the demolition is now suspended and the two Police officers who provided protection for the demolition have been transferred. However, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) told the Karnataka High Court that it did not carry out the demolitions in the migrant settlements.
Later it turned out that many residents in the migrant settlement were from states like Assam, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and even Karnataka.
“No one is living here in Bangalore anymore, everyone has left to their hometowns. One or two families shifted to another place in Jakkur area,” Shreekant Sanjay, a volunteer working for rehabilitation said to HW News.
“We collected the phone numbers of residents from their neighbours who are still living there. On contacting they refused to talk or share any information, as they are afraid,” volunteer Shreekant said.
On asking about the level of destruction, Sanjay said, “Everything is destroyed. They (BBMP) threw things out and carried out the demolition.”
Zia Nomani, Swaraj India’s youth leader, has been working in the rehabilitation work since more than a month.
Around 300 odd houses in the settlement were demolished in Bellandur, according to Zia Nomani.
“We had received more than 30 calls from Thubrahalli slums, the people are scared as the circle inspector has warned them to vacate within 2 days and have threatened them for ‘action’,” the volunteer group message said.
“There is no demolition happening for now and We will make sure not a single Indian migrant is harassed. This is in line with Gandhiji’s advice- fighting for the last man, Anthodya,” said Zia Nomani to HW News.
Zia Nomani met with Sub Inspector Dhanaresh in Varthur Police Station along with 80+ local volunteers. SI said that no eviction will happen, he also confessed that there was a ‘miscommunication’ that more demolition will happen and assured that no house will be demolished anymore.
Zia Nomani alleged that BJP MLA Aravind Limbavali has been trying to detain the slum residents for three years now, for his ‘political ambitions’. “He was previously caught in a sexual scandal and by doing he can whitewash his political career. We are trying to put a defamation case of Limbavali, people are scared of him,” Zia said.
Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka had questioned, “By looking at the face of a person, can one be identified as being a Bangladeshi national?” slamming the state over the demolition of settlements in Bengaluru over a verbal complaint that illegal Bangladeshi immigrants were staying there.
Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka was hearing a petition filed by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) challenging the demolition of migrant settlements in Bellandur and Whitefield in the city on January 18 and 19.
The court will pass its final order in the case on February 10.
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