HYDERABAD: Displaced residents of Ambedkar Nagar slums spent Monday under the night sky, sleeping on the pavement with all their belongings as they were rendered homeless in a demolition drive taken up by the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation to make way for the 2BHK scheme. They claimed that they were threatened by the cops to vacate the place. As authorities reportedly failed to provide any accommodation, left with no option most of them left in search of temporary shelter on Tuesday evening.
“Cruelty of the police knew no bounds when they asked us to remove a separate space created for defecating and changing clothes by joining asbestos sheets. Where else could we women have gone on Necklace Road to change clothes or to defecate? Such insensitivity is appalling,” shared Noor Jahan, who is in her thirties. A few residents also shared their dismay about news reports stating that the government has provided them alternate accommodation. “Entire Monday night was spent on the roadside. The safety of our womenfolk and children was at stake,” said another resident Yunus.
Pandu, whose sixty-year-old house was reduced to rubble in front of his eyes. “Imagine the insensitivity of those in power who consider the poor as insects. Before we could come in terms with the reality of being rendered homeless overnight, the police showed us their lathis. They didn’t provide us any hope for alternative accommodation but aggravated our pain.”
He further shared that he and his wife were awaiting a vehicle to a rented accommodation in Nallakunta after escorting their children safely. “We are among the eldest of the entire lot. We can’t leave in peace until the kids reach a secured place,” said a hopeless Pandu.
Shravan, a youth leader from the basti, said, “Even after destroying us in a stroke, the police hit us with lathis. They asked us to remove our belongings from the roadside. When my friend protested, they hit him on his head.”
“After making rounds across the city, we have helped our people find a temporary accommodation on rent in Nallakunta. Most of us have found a place only because a few good samaritans showed mercy and adjusted the rent in installments,” he said.