I came across an article detailing the demolition of some 100 houses in Hampi, Karnataka.
I have taken up the matter with the National Human Rights Commission, New Delhi. They have acknowledged and numbered the Complaint. I hope and pray they will give appropriate relief to the poor villagers.
500 People Homeless & Starving In Hampi, Karnataka As Their Houses Are Bulldozed
- I was Chief Commissioner of Income Tax, Hubli, Karnataka and I have visited Hampi several times. It is a unique place. I have emotional attachment to this seat of the Vijaya Nagar Empire. I am extremely aggrieved by the following incident.
- This incident relates to a demolition drive carried out on 3 May 2016 in Hampi village located in Koppal District, in Gangavathi Taluk, Sanapur Post, Illpapura Gaddi, North Hampi Island, Karnataka, India.
- In this demolition drive, the local government officers bulldozed some 100 homes leaving 500 people homeless. Some photographs are attached to this Complaint to give an indication of the atrocity of the
- These families have been residing in Hampi village for roughly 100 years and paying their taxes for at least 70 years. They are now living in the streets with no proper access to clean water, sanitation, toilets, and other basic and rudimentary requisites of life. The temperature there is around 50-degree Celsius making it extremely difficult for them to survive, especially the women and children.
- Article 21 of the Indian Constitutional Rights guarantees Protection of life and personal liberty to all citizens, regardless of caste or creed. “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law”. Liberty has been given a very wide meaning and includes carrying on any legal activity for earning one’s livelihood.
- I believe that the villagers are covered by the provisions of The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 and could not have been evicted.
- It is impossible for such poor people to fight in the courts. For them law and law courts remain illusionary. To say they have lost in a court of law simply does not make any sense.
- Apart from legalities, it is the duty of any democratic government to not only encourage but help its citizens to earn a decent livelihood. It follows that if it was necessary to move the villagers, and move or shift them due to various government needs or regulations, such indigent persons must be suitably compensated and offered some kind of future living plan before destruction of their property. If this is not done, the displaced persons deprived of their livelihood will be forced to turn to criminality.
- I request this Hon’ble Commission to call for a report from the concerned officials immediately and pass necessary orders so that the villagers receive necessary and appropriate relief. I am ready to assist the Hon’ble Commission in any manner necessary.