Hindu migrants from Pakistan held a protest outside the district collectorate office in Rajasthan's Jaisalmer. They claimed that their homes were demolished under the orders of IAS Tina Dabi.
Over 50 temporary houses were reportedly deemed as encroachments by the Urban Improvement Trust (UIT). Subsequently, these houses were demolished and cleared using a bulldozer, as per reports.
Over 150 people homeless after demolition
The incident has resulted in more than 150 women, men, and children being left exposed to the elements. In response, the district administration has stated that the displaced individuals had constructed houses illegally along the banks of Amar Sagar Lake in Jaisalmer, which led to the disruption of water inflow into the lake.
IAS Tina Dabi justified the decision by stating that it was taken based on complaints received from the village head of Amarsagar and the local residents.
Tina Dabi further mentioned that the refugees had been issued prior notices to vacate the land, but they declined to comply. Currently, a total of 28 encroachments have been removed.
Was displaced from Pak, home demolished in India; Refugees
Kishanraj Bhil, one of the victims affected by the aforementioned incident, who arrived in India after being displaced from Pakistan, expressed that not only were they forced out of Pakistan, but now their homes have also been demolished in India. "Our entire Kalla Crusher Bhil settlement was completely razed. We came to India after being devastated in Pakistan, and now we have been ruined here as well," he said.
The victims are also advocating for resettlement.
"We made our demand during the public hearing as well. However, it did not happen. On Monday evening, the UIT issued a notice to vacate the settlement, and subsequently, action was taken to remove the encroachments, but nothing has been done for our resettlement," he said.
In the previous year, the Central government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi implemented the Citizenship Amendment Act, a controversial law intended to provide citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who had migrated to India prior to December 31, 2014.
Region suffering from encroachment, refugees don't have citizenship yet: IAS Dabi
Furthermore, Tina Dabi disclosed that the entire region was suffering from the issue of encroachments."Some land mafias and middlemen had deceived and misguided the displaced Pakistanis, settling them here. We have also issued notices to the displaced individuals on multiple occasions," the IAS officer said.
As per DM Dabi, these individuals are displaced Pakistanis who have not been granted citizenship and are presently residing on long-term visas. The state government has not yet issued any guidelines regarding the settlement of these individuals.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)