High drama prevailed at a protest in front of Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. (BMRCL) office in Shanthinagar on Saturday when two persons poured kerosene over themselves and were immediately taken into police custody.

Simultaneously, around 50 people staged a protest opposite the BMRCL office demanding relief for two families, who were reportedly denied benefits of the rehabilitation project.

64 houses acquired

BMRCL had acquired 64 houses in Basaveshwara slum, near Okalipuram, in 2007. The slum-dwellers were later rehabilitated at Srigandhadakavalu a few years later. According to the protesters, Sundar Raj and Sarasamma, residents of the Basaveshwara slum, were also entitled to be rehabilitated at the BMRCL’s Srigandhadakavalu Rehabilitation Centre. However, they have not yet been allotted houses.

Police officials from the Wilson Garden station took the two who led the protest and doused themselves with kerosene into preventive custody. They have been identified as Shivu and Ramesh.

Meanwhile, in a statement, BMRCL’s Chief Public Relations Officer B.L. Yashvant Chavan said the two persons who claimed to be beneficiaries of the project, were not entitled to it. “On verification of documents, it is found that they were not the project-affected persons, as the area belonged to the BBMP prior to acquisition by BMRCL. No houses were demolished by BMRCL in the area claimed by these parties. All the affected parties have been rehabilitated after proper verification of the documents.”

He suggested that they approach the court of law if they were aggrieved by the action.

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