Toba Tek Singh

What is affected
Housing Social/public
Type of violation Forced eviction
Date 03 May 2007
Region A [ Asia ]
Country Pakistan
Location Toba Tek Singh1

Affected persons

Total 1085
Men 0
Women 0
Children 0
Proposed solution

Forced eviction
Housing losses
- Number of homes 155
- Total value €

Duty holder(s) /responsible party(ies)

Brief narrative

Evictions and demolitions in Toba Tek Singh, Pakistanrn15 March 2007 rnrnAtif Jamil Pagaan, Human Development Centre rnrnDemolition:rnOn March 7, at about 3:00 pm government officers (as they were later identified) were escorted by more than two dozen police men attacked the poor. Most of the men were out at work at that time and the government officers without any prior notice started demolishing the homes of the poor people who have been living their more than ten years. Tractors and trolleys were used to demolish the homes. The women tried to stop the officers and asked them to show any orders from the government for the demolition of the houses. They could not show any documentary proof instead they abused the women and continued demolishing the homes. The officers did not give the women permission to take out their utensils, clothes, and household goods, etc from the rooms. The community was not given any prior notice, nor offered any alternative plots of land or compensation. Moreover the government has no plans to use this land in any other project.rnrnTotal 155 houses are demolished.rnrnThe backgroundrnThe land where the poor people live is the property of the Punjab government. The families have been living on this government land without any allotment for the last ten years. Within two years it was the third time when the District administration demolished their houses. ï?½The first two were not as huge as the recent oneï?½ Muhammad Yaqub, one of the affectees told the investigating team. rnrnLocation of the area: rnChak # 325 J.B. Dulum is in north of Toba Tek Sing about five kilometers away from the main city of Toba Tek Singh. The area is situated on Jhang-Toba Tek Singh Road, one kilometer away from the main road. The land is sandy and bushy. The community built their houses where they found proper places or where the drinking water was little better. On average people built one to two rooms along with toilets and verandas. Some with pucca (baked) bricks and most of the houses were made with Kachi (semi-baked) mud bricks. People claimed that they have around 200 registered votes from this area. The committee is trying to collect the data and estimated cost of the demolition. Average number of family members is six to seven among the affected families.rnrnThere were no carpeted roads, streets or any other government provided facilities like water supply, electricity, school and any other social services etc. Women were more active in telling the stories of their ruined houses. rnrnAffected People’s stories:rnMumtaz Bibi (46, a widow): We lived in a nearby neighbourhood, but when my husband died his brothers kicked out my daughters, son and mother and father-in-law. Two years back we made our houses with Kachi (semi-baked) bricks. My two young daughters are working in a mill that is not far from here. I look after the youngest child and mother and father-in-law. The loan for the construction has not been repaid yet. Nobody has come to us. The political leaders only come when they need votes. In the last election the promised that they would give us land rights, if they we vote for them. The whole area people voted for the winning politician but rather than give us basic needs like water, power supply, employment, roads, schools or healthcare, they have deprived my children from shelter. I tell you, I shall not leave this place no matter if I will die for it. rnrnMrs. Qayyum (53): Two days earlier at about 3 pm two government officials came and ordered people to demolish the house of Mr. Yaqub. They said that they were government officials and when we asked to show their orders to demolish the houses, they abused me. I called the other women of the area and they came at once. When they saw many women coming they began abusing us, using filthy language. My companions were so angry they began beating the two men who ran away leaving their motorbike behind. rnrnThe n

Costs €   0