Hundreds of thousands forced from homes in India

Daniel Forrest, is a member of the YCL in the North East

India’s Supreme Court has been slammed by India’s communists for approving the forced eviction of approximately 48,000 slums near railway lines, which the CPI-M (Communist Party of India – Marxist) says will result in “thousands of women, children and the aged out on the streets in the name of cleanliness.

Even more shocking is the fact that the Supreme Court took special attention to add a clause that would prevent any other court from simply repealing the decision yet taking no time to make alternative arrangement for the poverty stricken residents of the condemned areas.

As the CPI-M Delhi State Committee commented that, “The hundreds of thousands of working people living in these 48,000 slums are not only citizens of the country but pillars of our development,” and went on to pose the question “Today, when the pandemic is everywhere and the country is passing through its highest recession and unemployment, how can [this] be justice?”.

In a letter of protest to the Indian Railways Minister the CPI-M stated, “According to estimates given before the Court, approximately 48,000 jhuggi dwellers are to be evicted which means between 250,000 to 300,000 people including women and children. At the time of the pandemic, this will lead to a health disaster putting substantial numbers at grave risk. You are no doubt aware that at present Delhi is grappling with a second wave of the spread of the COVID-19. It will be highly irresponsible of the Railway Ministry to evict people at this time. Secondly because of the lockdown, jhuggi dwellers have faced a huge drop in their meagre income and are already suffering. At such a time to turn them into homeless citizens would be an unconscionable act.

Daniel Forrest

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