• Wednesday, Dec 08, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:09 am

More evictions feared in India as citizenship law is enforced

  • Published at 10:07 pm January 24th, 2020
CAA-REUTERS
Demonstrators shout slogans and hold placards as they arrive at the venue of a protest against the new citizenship law, in Mumbai, India on December 19 Reuters

The residents said they were migrants from other Indian states, and that they were evicted without any notice

Days after nearly 200 homes were demolished in an informal settlement in the southern Indian city of Bengaluru, human rights groups and slum dwellers said they expected more such evictions as a new citizenship law is enforced in the country.

Police and municipal officials said the homes were built illegally on state land, and that residents were undocumented migrants from Bangladesh.

The residents said they were migrants from other Indian states, and that they were evicted without any notice.

The Karnataka state high court has prohibited further evictions, and asked the municipal corporation and the police to respond to its queries on the eviction by January 29.

Human rights groups said it was an outcome of tensions around India's new citizenship law, which came into effect on Jan. 10 and lays out a path for citizenship for six religious minorities in neighbouring mostly-Muslim countries - Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Critics say that the omission of Muslims is discriminatory, and that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as well as a planned National Register of Citizens (NRC), target poor Muslims and others who do not have sufficient documentation.

Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable, as they often live in informal settlements, said Isaac Selva, founder of Slum Jagatthu, a non-profit magazine on slum dwellers in Bangalore.

"Bangalore is full of migrant workers, and a large number of daily wage workers tend to live in slums. Not everyone has ID papers," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

"We think more such evictions will take place because of the CAA and NRC, because authorities are being told these people do not have a right to be here."

Nearly 2 million people - including Hindus - were left off a list of citizens released in Assam last year for failing to have adequate documentation, after a years-long exercise to check illegal immigration from Bangladesh.

On Wednesday, India's top court gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government four weeks to respond to 144 petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Citizenship Amendment Act, which has ignited protests across the country.

"A large majority of people living homeless and in informal settlements do not have government-issued documents," said Shivani Chaudhry, executive director of non-profit Housing and Land Rights Network in Delhi.

"The current climate in the country has fuelled fears that the lack of adequate documents among large sections of India's urban and rural poor could lead to evictions and destruction of their homes and property," she said.

The rapid growth of Indian cities, combined with unclear land ownership, has triggered the forced eviction of poorer communities over the last two decades, human rights groups say.

At least 11 million people in India risk being uprooted from their homes and land as authorities build highways and airports and upgrade cities, according to HLRN, which said more than 200,000 people were forcefully evicted in 2018.

There are no official figures on evictions.

57
Facebook 56
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail