Jharkhand – Interim factfinding report on massive demolition drive – Protest in Delhi on May 19

May 17, 2011

Massive demolitions are ongoing in Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Bokaro and Ranchi. About hundred thousand people have become homeless because of this drive. Two people were killed and many more injured in various firing and lathi charge at Ramjanam Nagar, Jamshepur, In Bokaro and Islampur in Ranchi. The anti encroachment drive was ordered by the High Court with no directions for adequate rehabilitation or the human rights of the vulnerable people. The anti encroachment drive also demolished way side shops and displaced hawkers from city centers and major roads.

The Jharkhand Government has done done nothing to come to relief of the lakhs of people. Overall nearly 5,00,000 people are slated to be evicted or affected by these evictions in coming times. In this heat many of the people are forced to live out on the street. An attempt at challenging the verdict in Supreme Court has also failed and was referred back to High Court.

To protest the inaction by Jharkhand State Government and its complicity in carrying out the evictions in name of removing encroachment is highly condemnable.

To protest the inaction and lack of any relief to the already evicted people we propose to do a demonstration in front of the JHAKRKHAND BHAWAN (Opposite Indian Airlines Colony, near PVR Priya, Kushmpur Pahari, Vasant Vihar, New Delhi) on May 19th, Thursday, at 10:30 am.

In Solidarity,
NAPM, SUCI Delhi, National Hawker Federation, AISA, AICCTU, DSG, INSAF, Jan Sangharsh Vahini, Shahri Mahila Kamgar Union, Rashtriya Gharelu Kamgar Union and others.

——————————————————-

Interim Report of Fact Finding Team on demolitions in Jharkhand

· The fact finding team consisted of Adv. G.S Jaiswal, Secretary Free Legal Aid Committee, Jamshedpur, Ms Prabha Jaiswal, Secretary ASES, Mr. Maju Varghese, Coordinator Habitat program, YUVA, Mr. Pratap Sahu, National Hawkers Federation, Mr. Mohan Chavan, Sahar Vikas Manch Mumbai. The team was joined by Mr. Shaktiman Gosh, General Secretary of National Hawkers Federation in Bokaro and Ranchi.

· The team visited the following areas and held discussion with communities in

o Ramjanam Nagar(Jamshedpur – Adityapur toll bridge) and various communities affected by Marine Drive in Jamshedpur,

o Hawkers affected by the drive in Bank mode, Barsa road, Indian Mines University, Ghoda Phatak road, Hirapur hatiya in Dhanbad,

o Was witness to demolition at circus maidan at Sector 4, Bokaro and visited the city centre where hawkers have been evicted for car parking

o Islampur in Ranchi where police used force resulting in the death of two people.

· The team also interacted with the Advocates from legal aid committee( Advocate B. N. Sharma and others) Samyukta Basti Samiti, Basti Bachao Sangarsh Samiti in Jamshedpur, Ms Anita and others from Footpath Dukandar Roji Roti Upargan Sangh in Dhanbad, Mr. Ansari and others from National Hawkers Federation in Bokaro and CREJ in Ranchi

1. The fact finding team witnessed demolition first hand and is disturbed by the gross violation of human rights, constitutional rights and obligations of the state to respect, protect and fulfill human rights under various International covenants.

2. The demolitions happening in various places are throwing people out from their homes without any rehabilitation thus infringing their rights under Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Convention on Rights to Child (CRC), International Covenant on Economics Social and Cultural Rights.

3. We learn that a hundred thousand people have been affected by the anti encroachment drive which have made them vulnerable and homeless thus violating the United Nation Guidelines on Development based evictions and displacement.

4. Violence has been used disproportionately leading to atleast two people getting killed and many more getting injured. There are many instances where women have been beaten up by male police and we were also told about sexual assault.

5. The impact of demolitions have impacted children such that we observed that evictions have disrupted examinations, children dropping out from school and children running away from homes aftermath of eviction thus denying them right to education, privacy and homes.

6. The National Games 2011 has been used to deny livelihood spaces of small shops and hawkers in the city and that they have been robbed of their livelihood in violation of the National Hawkers Policy.

7. There is an atmosphere of terror which have been created through various police actions including lathi charge, teargassing, water cannoning and firing where people have lost lives.

Recommendations

1. STOP the anti encroachment drive immediately pending creation of an urban rehabilitation policy. State government should approach the Supreme Court or issue an ordinance to this effect.

2. Immediate relief be given to all the communities who have their houses demolished.

3. The State Government should step in and provide rehabilitation to all whose houses were demolished.

4. Property rights to be given to all slum dwellers by legislation as prescribed by Rajiv Awas Yojana of Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation.

5. The UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development based evictions and Displacement be incorporated in the State law. A new law on Rehabilitation of slum dwellers be enacted as part of State Slum Act.

6. The National Policy for Street Vendors be implemented in the urban areas as directed by the Supreme Court in Gainda Ram & Ors. V. MCD and Ors. The legal space for hawkers in roads be ensured as per the policy. Compensation need to be given to all the hawkers whose goods were confiscated without taking into account the National Policy for Street Vendors.

7. The state need to acknowledge the contribution of urban slum dwellers towards the city and ensure security of tenure and basic services to settlements where they live.