Protesting activists arrested as BBMP’s earthmovers get down to business on prime land
Heartrending scenes were witnessed as the excavators went to work, smashing homes, roofs, water tanks.
In the aftermath, the now homeless Ejipura residents ventured out, salvaging what was left of their belongings.
For the second day in a row, residents resisted, without much success, their ejection from Ejipura. They are not the original owners of the sheds but tenants who have moved here, most of them working nearby.
On Saturday, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) resumed its demolition of the shanties at the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) Quarters with heavy police protection. This grim task was preceded by the arrest of around 25 residents and rights group activists.
The BBMP has entered into a joint development agreement with the Maverick Holding and Investment Pvt. Ltd. to construct multi-level residential complexes for the original 1,512 EWS allottees in around seven acres of the 15 acres and commercially exploit the remaining prime property by constructing a mall. Each acre here is worth Rs.10 crore to Rs.12 crore.
The demolition, which was suspended for a few hours in the afternoon in view of the growing protests, resumed after the electricity and water connections were cut. The colony residents claimed more than 300 sheds were demolished on Saturday and that the police used their canes liberally to scatter the protestors. They didn’t even spare children and senior citizens, they alleged.
When contacted, BBMP Commissioner Siddaiah said he had directed the officials to bring down only the unoccupied sheds. He said he would direct the officials to coordinate with their counterparts in the Karnataka Slum Development Board and help the families who have been rendered homeless be accommodated in Sarjapura.
Protesting activists arrested as earthmovers get down to business
on prime land