Civic agency, police raze 300 shanties after mistaking Indians as Bangladeshi immigrants

Last week 300 poor families living in huts around the Bellandur lake in the eastern part of Bengaluru were demolished by the civic agency, alleging that they were all illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

Officials of Bengaluru’s civic body BBMP came with local policemen on Saturday on a demolishing drive. In a few hours  poor families became homeless. Their school going children had no roof over their heads.

Several residents in the settlement held up their Indian identity cards to prove that they were Indians, but the officials continued to raze the sheds to the ground.

However, no illegal immigrants from Bangladesh were actually found in this settlement. All the people turned out to be either local Kannadigas from outside Bengaluru or migrants from North and north eastern part of India.

Families said the land was privately owned, and they had taken it on rent. Even the owners of the land confirmed their claims.

The local civic agency’s action comes at a time when people across India have been protesting against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act and the National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The BBMP’s commissioner BH Anil Kumar said that he was going to take strict disciplinary action against the concerned officials for demolishing the huts of the poor.

Local news channels claimed that Bangladeshi nationals were living there but fled before the demolition drive.

It was later learned that a fake video was being circulated on WhatsApp and also tweeted by Mahadevapura’s BJP MLA Arvind Limbavali.