Anti-encroachment drive in Ranchi renders 300 homeless

Ranchi (RNC): Hundreds of people became homeless in the anti-encroachment drive by Railway and district administration near Birsa Chowk. The drive started on Saturday and continued on Monday in order to vacate t the 25 acres land of railways situated near Birsa Chowk, making around 300 people homeless.

The residents claim that they were given a notice of eviction over one month ago after which one Joseph Mistry, a resident who had nowhere to go, committed suicide, while another resident Prem Purty attempted suicide but survived.

Md. Moon Quraishi, a local resident said, “The notice sent to us was dated 2011 and there was no official signature on the notice. After we were given the notice, we protested many times and the demolition was delayed but on Saturday, officials came with earth movers and started pulling down the houses.”

The locals also claimed that at first there was a plan of evicting only 40 metres but once the demolition started, houses up to 60 metres were pulled down.

Md. Ehsan, who became homeless after the drive started has two young daughters. He said, “The government on one hand says Beti Bachao Beti Padhao and on the other hand they are making the daughters homeless.”

The residents were angered by the drive and worried that they might never be rehabilitated. “Those who became homeless in the anti-encroachment drive at Islam Nagar and Nagababa Khatal have still not been rehabilitated after four years.What is the guarantee that we will be given another place to live. We have been living here for over 40 years and they destroyed everything in two days,” said Manoj Kumar, a resident who used to run a general store on the road side.

The eviction drive is to continue on Tuesday as well. Ranchi sub divisional officer (SDO) Amit Kumar said, “After the land has been made encroachment free a 30 metre long bridge will be constructed on the land. Those who are being moved will be rehabilitated at Kalyanpur Mauja.”

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