Bangalore: A forced eviction drive has rendered Eighty-six slum-dwelling families at Krishnappa Nagar of Bangalore east, Varturu Hobli, Bailusandra village homeless.
Four hundred and fifty families have been residing in this site for thirty years now. Three hundred and three families have been provided with housing from the government and the slum board and the rest of them haven’t been allocated houses. These eighty-six families are protesting currently at the slum board office.
Speaking to Gauri Lankesh News, Mr. Mariyappa of Karnataka Janandolana Sangathane said- “On January 21, 2021, the slum board officers have forcefully evicted these protesting families. Following the eviction, the families reportedly congregated in front of the tahsildar office in KR Puram in protest and submitted their plea to the tahsildar. It was there that they got to know that it was the decision of the Slum Development Board(SDB). We camped the whole night in front of the office and relocated on January 22, 2021, to the Slum Development Board office”.
According to the grieved and enraged protesting families, they haven’t been spoken to by any concerned officers of the SDB. Mariyappa said, “the officers are not even concerned of the wellbeing of these families. Just for the sake of it, a certain Ramesh, an officer met us and asked us to share our grievances. We pleaded with him to provide us with an alternate accommodation since none of us have anywhere else to go. We will sit here till we are provided with some alternative and we are ready to be jailed in Parappana Agrahara jail.”
The demand of these families is to get land or houses for them.
We were informed that the land in which these families were residing is owned by a landlord of Krishnappa garden, Jayram. The landlord was receiving rents for these houses. A decade ago nine members residing here came together in protest against their abusive landlord and were arrested for three months. The land is now being said to be acquired by BEMEL. According to Mariyappa, the government and the slum development authorities have no proof to establish this acquisition.
The protesting families opine that they have been cheated by the government. The protesting women talking to us said that the authorities had demanded money from the families for allocation of houses in the neighbourhood. According to one of these women, who is the sole breadwinner of the family of four and one physically disabled sister, only those families who agreed to give money have been allocated houses; the other woman who is a daily wage labourer claimed that she had all the evidence to prove that the families who gave money got houses.