Amrutha G | Jul 18, 2019 | 6 min read
Over 13,000 residents of a slum who lives for rent in a private land in Kundalahalli Gate in Bengaluru was asked to vacate on last Friday by Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) and Police officials.
An BBMP official said “Ilegally garbage has been dumped and burnt in this area regularly and we have filed complaints against the landowners. The main aim is to keep the area hygiene and stop this activity of burning the garbage and plastic .”
And the Sub inspector Santosh of Varthur police station says- “The slum-dwellers are from Bangladesh and they have been creating violence and are indulge in robbery and have weapons and guns, who are also into selling Ganga and they are burning garbage waste and hence BBMP and the Police took the action.” But when questioned how many cases have been filed so far he replies -“No FIR as been filed on any violence yet.”
R. Karimullah, activists who has been supporting the residence told - “Over the last few months, the mostly Bengali Muslim migrants have been facing harassment and accusations of being illegal Bangladeshis but all the Residents have their Aadhaar cards and other government documents on the ready and their first ‘warning’ was barely three days before when electricity and water were cut off.”
Later on Monday when the residents got the news on BBMP coming to demolish the houses by 6am, they contacted few activists who called up CPIM leader Gopal Gowda, Women organisation and social activist Gowramma and R. Karimullah from the Movement for Justice, they all gathered along with 50 other activists and NGOs in the spot by 4.40am and later around 7am BBMP, DCP, BJP MLA Arvind Limbavali with more than 40 Policemen and few JCPs came to demolished over 25 homes but after a lot of discussions between the activists and the officials, the officials agreed and asked any of them to take the initiative and gave a time of three days to vacate the place and stopped demolishing further, while Gopal Gowda who took the initiate said - “I will talk to higher authorities, planned a meeting with BBMP Mayor Gangamika and trying to reach Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka G. Parameshwara and make sure the justice is given to these people who have been treated badly, they all work for daily wages, just because they burn scrap and plastic they can’t be asked to vacate the place that too without prior notice.”
According to more than 10 men who work for construction companies said- MLA Arvind Limbavali has also reportedly been singing this tune, warning local construction companies to not hire ‘illegals’ from this slum and claimed that the slum-dwellers are from Bangladesh.
This private land of 2.5acre plot belongs to Manjunath Gowda who is very supportive to his tenents but says “ If i don’t make my tenants vacant within 10days, the police have warned about arresting me.”
Nargis, who’s house was demolished is a mother of two school going kids lived here since 5years, work as a cook and a maid said - “ Kids have stopped going to school and they have exams going on, we don’t even have place to cook, kids are hungry and we don’t even have water to drink and I have not been going to work since three days and the owners have been calling me, looks like i might lose my job too.” and ended up crying.
While Lal Bhanu adds - “Strangers have been visiting in the middle of the night and banging our house doors as their is no electricity hence it’s scary to step out dark and we have been facing problems of toilets facility due to no water supply.” And Rajiya said - “There are many pregnant women and babies below one year, there are many old family members who have health issues, one of the lady fainted due to low BP without food and cause of all this tension, this sudden action has hurted us and weakened us even more without food, water and shelter.”
Till 10.20pm on Monday Gowramma was in the location with the people who lost their house said-“The place is very scary and it’s not at all safe for women and girls because it’s pitch dark due to no power.” And futher adds “West Bengal MP, Mohammed Salim has contacted our Bangalore commissioner confirming about all these people belong to West Bengal and seeks for protection. He has also contacted H.D.Devegowda and discussed about the issue. Also soon he will talk to Chief Minister H.D Kumarswami for help.”
On Tuesday morning Actor and activist Chetan (Mynaa fame) came along with his Yuva Karnataka team and spoke to the residents, asked their problems and enquired if they need food and water, said - “Most of them are living here from a long time, they all are Indians and they have the rights to live and it’s very sad to see how they are targeted to values reason”, and turns to the crowd of people saying - “ I will talk to higher authorities and stand with you all for your rights and basic needs till then I want you all to be strong and not to lose hopes.“ and he joined hands with Gopal Gowda and Gowramma who came to place and planned on visited BBMP Mayor Gangamika, but when they all reached Mayor office by 3.35pm, she wasn’t avilable. Then Gowramma who spoke over a phone call with Gangamika said us - “ Mayor has said she will take this in a legal way and find out what exactly it is all about and go for spot enquiry and make sure the justice will be given and will further discuss the issue with Deputy CM G.Parameshwar.”
Samim, a resident who works as a security guard says - “Not even a single person here is from Bangladesh and we all have proofs for it. Looks like this has some internally real estate plans hence only our particular area that’s the tanents of Manjunath gowda as been targeted.”
JaiRaul, a resident said - “I have been living here since 17years along with my family and grand kids, we had never faced such problems ever and this is the very first time this is been happening and there are a lot of people who are staying here for more than 10 years and 5years.”
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