Despite repeated demands from the residents of the Khori Gaon area to stop the demolition of their homes and provision for immediate rehabilitation, the Faridabad Municipal Corporation (FMC) is continuing with the demolition. Meanwhile, thousands of residents struggle amidst monsoon, police brutality, and no rehabilitation of any sort.
The Supreme Court on Friday gave the FMC an extension of four more weeks to complete the removal of ‘encroachments’ in the Aravali forest region in the Khori village area. The Faridabad Municipal Corporation told the Supreme Court that they have cleared 74 acres out of 150 acres.
The extension was given despite the complaints of various litigants, that the arrangements for living, food, etc. have not been made for the evicted people. The court didn’t stay the demolition orders but has asked the litigants to send their application to the Municipal Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation of Faridabad. In case of no action, the Court will look into it on the next date.
When the point about other non-residential structures built in the Aravali forest area was raised, the Court said that apart from residential structures in Khori Gaon, any other illegal structure on the forest land should also be removed.
It is a gross violation of human rights to fail to rehabilitate the displaced at Khori Gaon. Supreme Court and the Faridabad municipality must take note. https://t.co/mY7iLH38Gw
— UN Special Rapporteur on the right to housing (@adequatehousing) July 26, 2021
The activists and local leaders have said that the affidavit of the Faridabad Municipal Corporation filed in the Supreme Court is completely different from the ground reality. The FMC said that they have provided the residents of Khori Gaon with temporary accommodation but elderly, sick, and even children can be seen living on the debris created by the demolition.
@MCF_Faridabad says in the SC that they have provided each family who lost their home with temporary accommodation. If this is true why are thousands of people living under tapaulin sheets? Rule of Law, Due Process and Justice are only concepts for the rich.
By @VibhuGroverr pic.twitter.com/OK24Ol7ZWd
— Yugmā Network (@NetworkYugma) July 26, 2021
The ground reality is that demolitions are ongoing and approximately 1000 more homes have been demolished. Police brutalities upon residents are ongoing. One woman attempted suicide by hanging out of despair when her house was demolished and a man named Rajni also jumped from his roof unobstructed by police and sustained grievous injuries for which he is now hospitalised in the trauma centre.
Furthermore, relief workers are also being prevented from the distribution of food and water and the local police are threatening them with arrest. The mobility of the residents has been completely restricted by the authorities and they are being prevented from going to the medical stores despite the fact that many have fallen sick, living out in the open during the monsoon rains amid the demolished ruins of their homes.
Even pregnant women are not being provided a place to sit. Police have even gone so far as to overturn containers in which food was being cooked for distribution.
‘Our houses have been demolished and we have been in the rain all night. We have no place to stay, where should we go and what do I do with my small children, with my family? We don’t even have food to eat now,’ Pinky, a Khori Gaon resident said.
The police have been using force illegally against the residents, activists, and also journalists. Several journalists have complained that they were stopped from filming the demolition process and threatened with arrest and other charges. Their phones were snatched and their videos of the demolition were deleted, as well as they were asked not to visit the area.
It's not Earthquake or bomboradment.
It is #Khoriganv demolition today.
Without food & shelter.
From deemed forest area, while 120 big encroachers are enjoying the forest land. @napmindia
The innocent Forest Deptt. Don't have spine to utter a single word to them. pic.twitter.com/CgPpD3GUBD
— Vimal bhai (@Vimalbhai11) July 24, 2021
On the orders of the Supreme Court, the people who were humiliated by the Haryana government from Khori village, deprived of health services, living under the shadow of the police are sending letters to the Municipal Corporation. They have written in the letter that till now there is no government system for shelter, food, water, health, and defecation for the desolate people.
The Court also directed FMC to finalise and notify the scheme for the people evicted in the process by July 31.