|What is affected||
|Type of violation||
|Date||23 March 2011|
|Region||A [ Asia ]|
|Location||Baljeet Nagar, Gayatri Colony near Ramjas Ground behind West Patel Nagar (Delhi)|
Prosecution of perpetrators, reparations for victims
- Land area (square meters)
|- Total value|
|- Number of homes||500|
|- Total value €||€ 303000|
Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)
DDA Continues, High Court Stays Jhuggis’ Demolition
Jiby Kattakayam The Hindu, New Delhi, 25 March 2011
The Delhi Development Authority on Thursday continued with its demolition of jhuggis at Gayatri Colony near Ramjas Ground behind West Patel Nagar here for the second consecutive day even as voluntary organisations which sprang up in defence of the colony residents approached the Delhi High Court and managed to obtain a stay on the demolition drive late in the day.
In a clear contravention of the Delhi High Court’s Division Bench judgment of 11 February 2010, which ruled that every eligible slum dweller had to be relocated to a place with proper civic amenities before being evicted from a piece of public land, the DDA did not issue notice to the colony residents before evicting them.
While the DDA estimates that only 800 jhuggis in a two-acre area were demolished amid heavy deployment of police personnel, colony residents claim that nearly 1,500 jhuggis have been demolished. DDA spokesperson Neemo Dhar said only encroachments that came up after 2008 were being demolished. But colony residents assert that they have been living on the DDA plot for over 10 years. Ms. Dhar said that while 500 jhuggis were demolished on Wednesday, 300 more were due to be demolished on Thursday.
The residents furnished in the Delhi High Court voter identity cards and ration cards issued in the last 10–12 years as proof of their residence. Pradeep Sharma, a colony resident, said his 1995 voter identity card and his ration card issued in 2007 which mentioned the demolished jhuggi as his address proved he was a long-time resident of the colony. Pooja, another resident, could only recover her BSES electricity bill from the rubble to show her proof of residence.
Several others also came forward with their identification cards to show their proof of residence and dates when the ID-cards were processed. Baljeet Nagar, of which Gayatri Colony is a part, has a total of 4,000 jhuggis. Fear has gripped Baljeet Nagar residents who are worried that their homes would be next in the line of the DDA’s earth-movers that on Wednesday and Thursday reduced houses made of brick, mortar and asbestos to rubble.
An estimated 5,000 people have been left homeless, most with no place else to go. While some residents salvaged their belongings and stowed them away at relatives’ and friends houses, others with nowhere to go are camping at the disputed site and sat disconsolately with their meagre belongings where their houses once stood.
Residents said what has affected them most is that the DDA officials did not serve notice on them before starting demolition. They allege that they had been paying bribes to lower-level DDA officials to undertake construction and extension of their houses.
Indu Prakash Singh of the Indo-Global Social Service Society, who was present at the Colony, said the DDA blatantly violated due process which should have been followed as per the guidelines laid down by the February 11, 2010, judgment. Mr. Singh said the Human Rights Law Network would move a compensation claim and contempt proceedings against the DDA when the matter is taken up for hearing again on Friday.
NGOs active in the area said they were trying to put up tents and organise food packets to distribute to the residents.
The drive is in clear contravention of court ruling that slum dwellers had to be relocated before being evicted.
Rights groups bring out report on DDA slum demolition
Staff Reporter, The Hindu, New Delhi, 6 July 2011
After the controversial demolition of jhuggi-jhonpri clusters at Baljeet Nagar near West Patel Nagar by the Delhi Development Authority in March, a coalition of civil society organisations rallying to defend the legal rights of the residents released a report on Tuesday based on a public hearing held on April 18. The demolition left an estimated 4,000 people homeless who are due to be heard in the Delhi High Court on July 8.
Residents of the slum colony who spoke following the release of the report “The Cruel Side of Delhi’s Beautification: Illegal Demolition in Baljeet Nagar” alleged that the interim orders of the High Court directing civic agencies to provide amenities including drinking water, toilet facilities and electricity were not being heeded to.
The civil rights groups that came together to produce the report are the Human Rights Law Network, Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN), National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights (NCDHR), Centre for Social Equity and Inclusion, Shahri Adhikar Manch, Labour and Education Development Society and Indo-Global Social Service Society (IGSSS).
Violation of Dalit Rights
The report includes testimonies from 11 residents, photographs of the site, comments by the four-member jury which included former Delhi Chief Justice A. P. Shah and former UN Special Rapporteur Miloon Kothari, besides annexures listing several international and national laws and case judgements which have set precedents to be followed.
The report will be presented to the High Court Bench when it takes up the matter for hearing.
Shakuntala Devi, a Baljeet Nagar resident, highlighted the plight of women and children during and after the demolition.
Paul Divakar of the NCDHR stressed how the Baljeet Nagar demolition, where 80 per cent of the families were Dalits, was part of continuing violation of Dalit rights. Miloon Kothari said the incident pointed to an absence of “humane governance. The Delhi Government failed to uphold various rights like the right to health, education and livelihood.”
Indu Prakash Singh of the IGSSS said the demands of the residents and the activist groups include immediate provision of adequate housing and basic services and amenities, and investigation into the acts of violence, harassment and extortion of money from residents by the Delhi Police and the DDA officials, besides prosecution of guilty officials.