Police say they were evicted as they were illegal immigrants.

Had to pack everything and leave in 10 minutes Bangladeshi immigrants huts razed in Bluru
news Human Rights Wednesday, December 14, 2016 - 18:15

In 2002, Mamoon Chaudhary* had come to Bengaluru with his relatives from Bangladesh. He was only six-years-old at the time when they settled down in a plot in Iblur village near HSR layout, which is now situated behind the posh Sun City Apartments.

This area was home to many Bangladeshi immigrants who had come to Bengaluru in search of a livelihood.

On Tuesday morning, four policemen attached to the HSR Layout Police Station appeared near the plot which housed around 20 families and razed the hutments and arrested two persons.

“It was early in the morning when the policemen came and told us that we all had to collect our belongings within ten minutes as they were going to raze our homes. Most of us did not have time to collect our belongings,” Mamoon added.

Some people, who were loading their belongings into a truck said that apart from Iblur, there were a few other places where people from Bangladesh had settled down in the city.

“There are a few scattered settlements in Bellandur. The police had gone to collect hafta from the Bangladeshi residents in one of the settlements and there was a scuffle where the residents had hit one cop. The police had told them that they would evict all Bangladeshis from the city. When they were razing this place, they were saying the same thing,” said Khadak Singh, from Bihar, who alleged that he was around when the houses were razed.

The plot was empty with debris scattered all over. Some of the residents, who had packed up and left the area on Tuesday, had returned to look for their belongings on Wednesday morning.

“We don’t make much money as it is. Most of us are construction workers and some of us pick out garbage at night. That is how we made our living. Some people were living here for more than ten years and had some valuable belongings. Now they have lost that as well. They have come here to look for it but they don’t know if they will find it,” said Tameem Iqbal*, another Bangladeshi citizen who lost his home.

The News Minute was able to contact another Bangladeshi citizen, who lived in one of the hutments but was looking for accommodation elsewhere.

Shabana* and her two daughters are now wandering the streets of Bengaluru, looking for a place to stay.

“We came to Bellandur because we had heard that some of our community members were here. We are still looking for a place to stay. My husband, his other wife and their kids are somewhere in Bellandur. We will likely go there,” Shabana said.

While most families were nowhere to be seen, Tameem said that a month ago, the Bangladeshi citizens living in a plot not far away had also gradually moved to other parts of the city.

“No one knows where they went. One day four or five families would pack their bags and leave. My family and I have decided to go back to where we came from. How can we go on in a place that has no place for us?” Tameem sighed.

When contacted, the HSR Layout police said that the residents of the hutments were evicted as they were illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

“We told them to leave the area and they packed up all their belongings and left. There was no demolition and no JCB was taken to raze the buildings,” said an HSR Layout Police Inspector.

The News Minute wanted to know the details of the land and if the BBMP had ordered a demolition drive in the area. The local BBMP Concillor, Gurumurthy Reddy, was, however, oblivious to the occurrence.

“I have not heard of any such instance. I will contact the BBMP Commissioner and find out what happened,” Reddy added.

*Names have been changed on request. 

 

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