Jaipur: The police in Karnataka’s capital city Bengaluru and the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) have demolished more than 100 makeshift homes during an eviction drive in Kariyammana Agrahara, a locality in the suburb of Bellandur, based on the rumour that “illegal Bangladeshi migrants” lived there.
The police claimed that they had taken action based on a social media post that suggested that illegal Bangladeshis were settled in the area.
Local BJP MLA Arvind Limbavali had also tweeted that immigrants from Bangladesh had settled in the locality. “Few people have taken shelter under illegally constructed sheds located in Kariyammana Agrahara of Bellanduru which is within the jurisdiction of our Mahadevapura Assembly constituency. Illegal activities were taking place in those Sheds and the environment was spoiled without cleanliness, hence the area was a site of illegal activity,” Limbavali had posted.
“This was brought to my notice through social media. The concerned authorities were instructed to take action against it. Officials are reviewing and taking action. Residents from other areas have settled here, some of them are suspected to be illegal immigrants of Bangladesh,” he added.
Residents alleged that they were not provided any information in advance to vacate their houses. “We are Indians, we have documents. Police arrived without any prior notice and demolished our houses here. Many people living here are from Assam, West Bengal, Bihar and North Karnataka,” said Kumar Das, a resident.
The notice issued by Marathahalli police station inspector to land owner Chethan Babu on January 11 for eviction, referred viral videos which claimed an illegal Bangladeshi settlement in Bellandur.
“Get them vacated by demolishing the sheds,” the notice said.
However, activists say the residents are not illegal Bangladeshi migrants.
“More than 200 makeshift houses were demolished by the police in Kariyammana Agrahara on Sunday. Men who came in plain clothes to conduct the demolition drive said they were Marathahalli police providing protection to BBMP officials. However, there were no BBMP officials present near the site,” said Vinay Sreenivasa, an activist in the region.
“When we asked the reason behind the move, they said they are getting it done because the people here are illegal Bangladeshis. They stopped the demolition only when we asked them to produce the order directing them to do so. If the people staying in these makeshift houses are Bangladeshis, they need to identify them first and then take action. Why do they have to demolish all the houses,” he added.
The land owner has also asserted that all the residents were Indians.
“People living in these sheds are from this country only, there are people from North Karnataka, North India and North East India. They all have their documents, but since we were issued a notice by the police, we evicted them,” said Chethan Babu, the land owner.