G-20 Summit can’t be a pretext for Brutal Bulldozer-Raj

  • May 18, 2023

Ahead of the G-20 Summit in September, on the pretext of ‘beautification’, large-scale demolitions of houses and night-shelters is going on, rendering thousands on the verge of getting homeless in Delhi.


National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has expressed full solidarity with the thousands of traumatized residents of Tughlakabad and some other bastis in New Delhi, whose homes have been demolished and whose lives have been ravaged both prior to as well as in the lead-up to the G-20 Summit.


NAPM condemned actions by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) that launched a massive demolition drive in Delhi recently, razing down nearly 1,000 houses. Additionally, hundreds of homes have been demolished in other bastis too. At some places hawkers have also faced brutal evictions, in violation of law. The role of the Union Government and even the Delhi Govt. in displacing citizens out of their homes repeatedly is abominable.


The forced evictions and demolitions carried out by the authorities have not only left close to 1,600 families comprising 2.6 lakh residents homeless, but have also resulted in the loss of their belongings and livelihoods. The lack of proper resettlement prior to any move to ‘evict’ and absence of adequate support exacerbates the vulnerability of these already marginalized communities.


The blatant violation of laws and regulations during the demolition drive is equally alarming. These actions disregard legal safeguards and due process, including provisions under the Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1971, New Delhi Municipal Council Act, 1994, and the principles outlined in the United Nations Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development-Based Evictions.


In a statement, NAPM said, “It is disturbing to see the preparations for the G-20 Summit take precedence over the people’s fundamental right to shelter. The forced evictions, demolitions, and mass displacements experienced by these communities who are also marginalised on the accounts of religion, caste, gender primarily in underprivileged areas like Kashmiri Gate, Yamuna Floodplains, Dhaula Kuan, Meharauli, Moolchand Basti and recently in Tughlakabad, are not only a violation of their fundamental rights but also a harsh reminder of the systemic failures on the part of the state to ensure fundamental rights of the most vulnerable sections.”


Stating that every individual has the inherent right to a safe and secure home under Article 21 of the Indian constitution, NAPM strongly condemned such disregard for the rule of law and urged the authorities to immediately cease the demolitions, investigate these violations, and provide legal remedies and redress for the homeless residents of Tughlakabad and other localities. It demanded –


  • the Government to halt all the demolitions and forced evictions immediately.


  • the Government must fully and fairly compensate all affected individuals and families for the losses incurred, including damage to property and loss of livelihoods.


  • the Government to conduct a thorough and fair investigation into the events surrounding the brutal demolition of houses as a lead-up to the G20 Summit, including the high-handed actions of law enforcement agencies and hold them accountable by taking appropriate legal action.


  • the Union Government and the Delhi Government to stop its repressive approach and engage in meaningful dialogue with the affected communities because it is the State’s responsibility to protect its citizens and ensure their rights, especially while hosting mega events like G-20, which have such drastic and life-altering consequences on the working poor.  Otherwise, big slogans like ‘Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas’ remain a hollow rhetoric.


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