Struggle for Right to Life, Housing and Rehabilitation of 1 lakh people continues..

press conf

New Delhi, 18 June,2021: The 50 year old secular Khori village, near Surajkund tourist spot (Faridabad, Harayana), inhabited by various sections is on the verge of being uprooted because of the Supreme Court order. Despite the existence of various farmhouses and high rise hotel buildings , the government and the administration is only eyeing these 10,000 houses which house more than 1 lakh people. Portions of land have been sold by the land mafias to the poor labourers under the nose of any authority without any objection. When in fact ,most of the labourers have been granted with their Aadhar cards. A Resident welfare association was formed by the people of Khori and in 2010 problems of stay and rehabilitation of these residents was put before Punjab and Haryana High court. This hearing took place on 25th April 2016 and 29th April 2016 where the labourers were assured rehabilitation but the promises remained unfulfilled. In 2017 Faridabad Municipal Corporation challenged this order in the Supreme court.

In 2020, during the pandemic, Supreme Court ordered removal of illegal encroachment on 19th February. The labourers were asked to submit their legal documents by the Municipal Corporation but due to imposition of the nationwide lockdown amid the pandemic, these documents could not be submitted. In September 2020, more than 1700 houses were demolished by the Faridabad municipal corporation. Bandhua Mukti Morcha and Rashtriya Mazdur Aawas Sangharsh Samiti carried out sit-in protests and demanded rehabilitation for these poor labourers.

According to the Haryana Urban development Authority in 2010, the rehabilitation would be granted only to the people residing in Khori before 2003. Because of this injustice faced by people, a PIL was filed in the Punjab and Haryana high court. However despite several hearings, the high court denied the stay as the matter was still pending in the supreme court.

300 houses were again demolished by the municipal corporation on 2nd April 2021. A PIL was filed in the supreme court (SLP) under Sareena Sarkar v State of Haryana where it prayed for immediate stay, but on 7th June 2021,the Supreme Court ordered to evict residents of Khori from the forest area within 6 weeks. The decision was unwelcomed and the residents of Khori protested against the order which led to the arrest of the protesters who were put under false charges. FIRs were filed on 14th and 15th June against protesters who were approximately more than 150 in number. Following this incident electricity and water supply was also cut off.

On 15th June 2021, Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves visited Khori to take a report of the ground situation and brief the residents of the village about the order. On the same day, General Secretary of Bandhua Mukti Morcha, Nirmal Gorana was arrested by the Surajkund police and was put under police custody where he faced physical and mental abuse/ torture. He was repeatedly asked to go against his will to sign a blank paper which he refused. The police even threated and defamed him. Several charges were put against Nirmal including section 180 CRPC.

Nirmal Gorana was produced before the magistrate by the Faridabad district court on 16th June. However, Nirmal was released on bail despite the police demanding Remand of 3 days. Till now more than 20 people have been put in jail and 2 people are still locked up for which these human rights lawyers are meticulously trying to get them released.

Number of online campaigns were organised by various organisations for the rehabilitation of the Khori villagers. More than 20,000 tweets and 1500 emails were addressed to the District Commissioner, municipal corporation and the chief minister of Haryana.An ongoing struggle on workers housing by Bandhua Mukti Morcha, Rashtra Mazdur Awaas Sangharsha Samiti, Working Peoples Charter, HALWA, Basti Suraksha Manch ,NAPM, HLRN,IGSSS is still in continuation.

On 18th June, a press conference was organised by Bandhua Mukti Morcha where Medha Patkar, Social Activist along with Senior Advocate Colin Gonsalves, and Nirmal Gorana addressed the plight of Khori Gaon residents.

“Is the cut off date only for the marginalised people and not for the privileged? Right to shelter that comes under Right to Life and Liberty under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution should at least be granted to each and every individual. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the displacement of people should be stopped. The people protesting against the eviction are not terrorists but social workers fighting under the constitutional machinery. It is suggested not to evict but provide rehabilitation to the people who once displaced would be deprived of any shelter.” Medha Patkar said.

Nirmal Gorana added, “Several labourers in the sit-in protests were manhandled by the police and were charged with multiple sections threatening to throw them behind bars. The eviction order would lead to a murder between the person and his land. Had the people of these marginalise section from rural spaces had some relief or opportunity in their areas, they would not have come to Khori and settled there.

On behalf of labourers, I would like to appeal that if a labourer approaches the Supreme Court, it should reconsider its decision on the eviction order rather than staying adamant.


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