TODAY -

CRAM, HLRN seek probe into forced evictions
Source: Chronicle News Service

Imphal, September 15 2021: Expressing concern over alleged forced eviction and demolition of thousands of houses across the country including Manipur during the lethal Covid-19 pandemic, Centre for Research and Advocacy Manipur (CRAM) and Housing and Land Right Network (HLRN) Delhi have urged for investigating all acts of forced eviction to ensure justice to those subjected to forced eviction.

In a release, CRAM president Sanaton Laishram informed that as.

per report, "Forced Evictions in India in 2020", prepared by HLRN, the government has demolished over 43,600 houses and forcibly evicted over 2,57,700 people from March 2020 to July 2021.Forced eviction of 221 houses led to displacement of 712 people in Manipur in 2020, it said.

"It is unfortunate that forced evictions were carried out in India during the first and second wave of Covid-19 pandemic amidst the strict lockdowns.

By carrying out demolitions during the Covid-19 pandemic, the state has ignored guidance to protect people," he contended.

Pointing out that the evictions were carried out for a range of reasons in 2020 including slum clearance, city beautincation, infrastructure, environmental projects, forest protection and wildlife conservation, disaster management efforts, etc, he noted that 87 per cent of the evicted people did not receive any rehabilitation package from the government.

Without resettlement, affected people are forced to become homeless or to make alternative housing.

For those who received some resettlement aid from the state, they were forced to live in areas without essential facilities, Sanaton said.

About 5317 houses with about 18,960 people are under threat of eviction and displacement in Manipur due to different developmental projects like dams, plantation project, and establishment of cultural University, Mega Food Parks and efforts to conserve and protect wild life and reserve forest areas, he informed, while alleging that in almost all those documented cases of forced evictions, state authorities failed to follow due processes.

Forced eviction or involuntary social displacement involves wide range of human rights violation, he added.

Drawing attention of the central and state governments, and international community for immediate moratorium on eviction for any reason and to ensure adequate rehabilitation and compensation for loss suffered by the affected people, Sanaton maintained that the government should take the free, prior and informed consent of all concerned before forced relocation.


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