HYDERABAD: Barely four months after a violative and militarised cordon and search operation by the police, a slum cluster called Lakshmaiah and Chandraiah huts near Moosarambagh bridge was razed by officials of the Revenue and Police departments on Friday, forcing the residents to pick up their belongings and leave the area.
Some of those who protested against the unexpected demolition of their dwellings were detained by the police. The officials justified the razing saying that the slum dwellers have been allotted patta land in Munungur in Hayathnagar.
“Of the families living in the about 300 here for the last 40 years, only 145 were given patta land in Munungur in Hayathnagar, while the others have not been allotted any land. On what basis can the government leave them homeless?” asked Syed Bilal, Vice President, Human Rights Forum.
He alleged a systematic attempt by the government to legitimise the demolition drive by conducting cordon and search operations beforehand. “We have observed a pattern that wherever there are poor people or Dalits, the police are conducting cordon and search operations to scare them. Now it is clear that the police force was here four months ago only to scare these people,” opined Bilal.
It may be recalled that the police department had maintained the searches were conducted as part of their attempt to eradicate the drug menace from the city. However, these searches were only conducted in socially disadvantaged areas.
“I had collected money over the years and built a pucca home for my wife and two children. We are now spending the night, dreading that bulldozers will reach our home and destroy everything,” said 40-year-old Vijay Middoddi, who was born and grew up in the same area.
He said that the local MRO told the dwellers that he had court orders to carry out the demolition and that those who have not been allotted patta lands would get them in the next three days. “I am extremely worried for my family now because we have been told to pack up and move to the community hall. Without patta documents, we are nobody,” added Vijay.