Bengaluru: Days after BJP MLA Arvind Limbavalli tweeted a video of shantytowns in North Bengaluru’s Kariyammana Agrahara area, claiming that the settlements belong to illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, the houses were razed to the ground on Sunday and rendered thousands homeless. The electricity and water supply to the location was cut off three days ago.
After the demolition of the shanties, the residents, mostly migrants from Assam, Tripura, some even from North Karnataka, were allegedly asked to vacate the land.
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), in a letter, stated that the sheds were built illegally by illegal Bangladeshi immigrants who converted the area to a slum, which led to the deterioration of conditions in the neighbourhood, following which the municipality received several complaints.
Earlier, on Januray 11, the Bengaluru police issued a notice to the owner of survey no. 35/2 that said that the sheds were built on the land without proper approval. The cops claimed that the sheds housed illegal Bangladeshi immigrants and the notice asked the owner to clear the encroachments and furnish details of the residents.
"We have not asked anyone to move. We have asked the owners to furnish details of the residents there. This is after 60 Bangladeshi illegal immigrants were detained from North Bengaluru in October 2018," said MN Anucheth, DCP, Whitefield, adding that he did not know of police asking them to vacate.
However, the action comes after a tweet from the MLA of the constituency. On January 12, Limbavalli, MLA of Mahadevapura constituency under which this area falls tweeted aerial shots of the slum, tweeted:
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 suspect to be illegal immigrants of Bangladesh. 3/3
On January 18, the BBMP wrote a letter to the police asking for protection during the removal of encroachments in the said land. However, the “illegal Bangladeshi immigrants" had shown their valid identity cards, which revealed most are from the Northeast India and North Karnataka.
"The sheds were demolished around 12 noon on Saturday. People in civilian clothes asked us to clear the space. There was also a cop with them. We are not Bangladeshis. We have proof that we are Indians. We have come here to work and earn a living," said Ahadur Rahman, a migrant from Assam.
"We don't know what happened. I work as a mason here. We can't find a place to live. We have been asked to move from here," said Karanna, a native of Koppal in North Karnataka's Gadag district. He is in Bangalore with his wife and three children aged 10, 7 and 5.
All the residents have valid identity cards, including Aadhaar, pan and voter ID. Besides, those from Assam have also shown their names in the NRC.
"We earn around 12000-15000 rupees doing housekeeping work or as security staff. We have to send some money home too. How can we move to an apartment or a better house where rent is around 20,000 rupees," asked Kalaram Tripura, another resident.