IAS officer Tina Dabi has once again grabbed the headlines after she triggered a controversy after the Jaisalmer district administration bulldozed the temporary settlement of Hindu immigrants who have come to India from Pakistan, on her order.
Over 50 ‘kutcha’ houses of Pakistan Hindu migrants were razed using bulldozers, following the orders of Dabi, who is currently posted as Jaisalmer District Collector, in Rajasthan. The move rendered more than 150 women, men and children homeless, living in the Amar Sagar area, about 4 km from district headquarters.
Following the action, Pakistani Hindu migrants staged a ‘dharna’ by putting up tents outside the Collector’s office.
Controversy Over Bulldozer Action
The administration’s bulldozer actions, which came at the heels of the Assembly election in the state, drew flak from the government and Opposition alike.
Leader of the Opposition Rajendra Rathore has termed it as appeasement politics of the Congress government.
He said that bringing down the houses of Hindu refugees from Pakistan with bulldozers after Jodhpur, now in Jaisalmer, shows the “cruel attitude of the Congress government".
He further said that Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot should stop playing politics of appeasement with the Hindu refugees who returned to their land after being harassed by Pakistan and there should be proper arrangements for their stay.
However, Rajasthan minister Pratap Khachariyawas blamed the action on the officials and said they will have to answer for the eviction drive.
“What the officials did is wrong, they will have to answer. We will take action against them. Pakistani Hindu migrants are living in Jaisalmer on an empty plot of land. The Rajasthan government is giving them documents…As per the law of the Rajasthan government, you can’t evict anyone without them being rehabilitated…This is a very serious matter. This is a conspiracy, such officials will be taken to task who try to malign the government. They committed a sin, they will have to face it," the minister said, as quoted by the news agency ANI.
#WATCH | Rajasthan Minister Pratap Khachariyawas says, “What the officials did is wrong, they will have to answer. We will take action against them. Pakistani Hindu migrants are living in Jaisalmer on empty plot of land. Rajasthan Govt is giving them documents…As per the law of… https://t.co/pTQY2ak9pW pic.twitter.com/hmAnT2WIOQ— ANI MP/CG/Rajasthan (@ANI_MP_CG_RJ) May 18, 2023
Dabi Defends Administration’s Move
Meanwhile, Dabi defended her action and said migrants will be moved to a shelter house till they get a proper allotment of land.
“Today a successful dialogue was held with the people. As per their demand, Urban Improvement Trust (UIT) will mark them in a week and give them a proper place. They were assured of settlement at some other place, after which the protestors announced to end the strike," she said.
Today a successful dialogue was held with the people. As per their demand, Urban Improvement Trust (UIT) will mark them in a week and give them a proper place. They were assured of settlement at some other place, after which the protestors announced to end the strike. The land on… pic.twitter.com/xirMobklGO— ANI MP/CG/Rajasthan (@ANI_MP_CG_RJ) May 17, 2023
The administration also said the displaced were living by constructing illegal houses on the banks of the Amar Sagar pond due to which the inflow of water to the pond was stopped.
“The land on which the encroachment was removed yesterday was either allotted by UIT earlier or is in the water catchment area. That’s why we have explained to those people that if you sit at this place then you will face problems in future also. The encroachments that were removed yesterday were done during the last 10 days and were fresh. The land will be allotted to those who have got citizenship and those who have not got it will be identified and settled after getting citizenship they will also be allotted land," Dabi added.