ब्रह्मपुर Brahmapur (BAM): Settlements at the railway track in the Bhakuri area of Behrampore were today allegedly demolished by Railway officials rendering a good number of poor settlers homeless.
The railway officials who were backed by armed security personnel engaged workers and machinery today to demolish bamboo huts, brick-built cottages and other structures located within the territorial jurisdiction of the railways.
The eviction drive was intended to clear the railway lands of encroachers for double-line works which are in progress at stretches between Plassey and Behrampore under Sealdah-Lalgola Section.
The evicted settlers claimed that they were not informed about the eviction, that was carried out in such an inhumane way, from beforehand.
Kajal Bibi, a housewife and a daily wager, resided in a small hut by the track. It was her dwelling that was demolished today. “I had taken a loan of Rs 50000 from my self-help group to construct the building. They broke it before my eyes. Where shall I live now?”
Kajal is not alone to live in the open in the chilly winter nights. A few hundred daily wagers like her, lost their dwelling houses today.
Raihan Mondal, a rickshaw puller said he had taken loan to the tune of Rs.1 lakh from local money-lenders to construct his brick building. It was crushed during the demolition drive this afternoon.
Rokiya Bewa, a widow who manages her family by serving as a housemaid in the locality was in tears to narrate. “I have been staying here for last 30 years. There was dense jungle on both sides of the railway tracks. We then cleared the jungle to make the area fit for living. Now we lost our only house,” she said.
Another widow, Anwara Bewa who is a bracelet hawker also found her hut demolished. Her daughter, Monira Khatun said: “I am a student of Class VI at Chuanpur Vidyaniketan. My mother now feels very helpless. Where shall we go and how shall I continue my studies.”
Similar was the state of affairs that affected Bijoy Mondal, Naser Sheikh, Atul Sheikh, Samim Sheikh, Mousumi Bibi, Anwara Bibi and several others. “I demand compensation from the railway authority. Now we do not have even a tarpaulin sheet to put up over our heads”, said Anwara Bibi.
The eviction drive was carried out today along the stretch between gate no. 128 and 129 near Behrampore Court railway station.