In an open letter to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Commissioner, Amnesty International India has demanded that the BBMP ensure that those affected by its forced eviction of around 1,200 families from the Economically Weaker Section Quarters in Ejipura are immediately provided with essential medical services, drinking water, access to sanitation and basic housing, “in line with international human rights standards”.
Amnesty International said that it is particularly worried about the health and living conditions of an estimated 200 families currently living in makeshift housing near the eviction site.
“Amnesty International is concerned about those living on the pavement, particularly children, older members of the community and pregnant women who face serious risks to their health and safety. We are also concerned about the increased risk of violence, including sexual and gender-based violence, to women and girls from the evicted community,” it said.
Citing an article that appeared in The Hindu recalling Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar’s promise to direct the BBMP to immediately build temporary shelters in the area for use until the end of the academic year, Amnesty International pointed out that construction of such shelters was yet to begin.
It has also asked the civic body to ensure that those living on the pavement near the eviction site are not subject to intimidation or harassment; to provide effective compensation for loss or damage of property; initiate a process of “genuine consultation” to provide alternative housing to those affected, and initiate an independent investigation into the use of unnecessary force by police officials against activists and residents.