Homes of migrant labourers burnt down my miscreants in Bengaluru

The migrants were residents of Kachakaranahalli and had valid ID to show they were residents of the area

BengaluruImage Courtesy:timesofindia

While India moves closer to the end of the fourth phase of the lockdown, migrant workers in Bengaluru have suffered another blow. According to various media reports some migrant workers who returned home as lockdown relaxations were eased, found that their huts and all their belongings near the Sunday Bazaar in Kachakaranahalli at Lingrajpuram in Bengaluru East, were charred to the ground.

The New Indian Express (TNIE) reported that the homes of these migrants were set ablaze while they were stuck in their villages in Kalaburgi due to the lockdown. The children of the migrants, some of whom were to appear for the SSLC examinations also face an uncertain future as all their books were burnt during the incident.

A report by The Times of India read that on April 25, a group of people tried set the homes on fire, however they fled when those migrants who had stayed back during the lockdown, resisted. Yet, the miscreants returned two days later and not only burnt down the homes, but also took away vessels and tarpaulin sheets which served as roofs. The returnee migrants alleged that when they tried to rebuild their homes, they were stopped by the local police from doing so and were threatened that they would be lathicharged if they continued to rebuild their homes. This, even when the migrants said that they had authentic voter IDs and ID cards by the Karnataka Slum Development Board (KSDB) showing that they were residents of the area.

P Anand, Ward Corporator HBR told Sabrang India, “We don’t know who is behind the incident yet. We have filed an FIR at the KG Halli Police station. I’ve also complained to the ward engineer and revenue officer about this. What was done is very wrong. We are now providing food to the homeless and have even provided fees to the children. On June 3rd, the MLA will speak to the government about the matter.”

KG Halli police inspector Ajay Sarathi also spoke to Sabrang India and said, “There were around 20 to 30 huts that have been burnt. The matter is still under investigation.”

The Aam Aadmi Party, Bengaluru put out an official statement saying that their Sarvagna Nagar team was helping the affected families by providing ration kits and would also help them rebuild their homes.

Earlier this year in January, when the country was in the thick of the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests, many daily wage earners in Kariyammana Agrahara in Bengaluru were rendered homeless after a demolition drive. Around 200 Around 200 tin and tarpaulin sheds were taken down in Kariyammana Agrahara and approximately 500 similar structures were razed down in Deverabeesanahalli. The authorities who conducted the demolition drive had claimed that the families were illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Prior to that, last year in November, there was an informal ban on Bengali speaking Muslim labourers in Bengaluru, again implicating them to be illegal migrants from Bangladesh. The most affected were those working as garbage pickers, domestic help and labourers. Later that month it was reported that 59 illegal immigrants detained in various crackdowns in Bengaluru were being transported to West Bengal to be handed over to the Border Security Force to be deported to Bangladesh. This exercise was state-sponsored by the Central Crime Branch which picked up 29 men, 22 women and nine girls from the slums of Ramamurthy Nagar, Bellandur and Marathahalli.


Bengaluru migrants’ residences demolished; people return to home states
59 ‘illegal immigrants’ from Bengaluru to be deported
Bengali speaking workers face likely ban in Bengaluru apartments, what’s next?



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