Not too far from the border of Delhi, Haryana’s Khori village has been the site of an unwavering protest movement. After a Supreme Court order on June 07, 2021 mandated the demolition of the slums of Khori village, the residents of the village took to protesting to save their houses.
Most of the residents at the village are migrants from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, etc. who had come to Delhi to earn wages and fend for themselves and their families. The Supreme Court has justified the demolition of the Basti, saying that it needs to be done to save the Aravali forest at the area. It is not the first time when poor people’s houses and lives are being sacrificed on the pretense of saving the environment, implementing development, etc. The area is home to about a hundred thousand people, whose lives will be turned upside down with the demolition.
Activists and residents of the area started protesting against the government’s order. Today, on June 30, 2021, the residents were set to have a Mahapanchayat at Ambedkar Park in the village. Before that could happen, the Haryana police took to beating up the protestors and activists brutally, and arresting them afterwards. Two of the activists from Bhagat Singh Chhatra Ekta Manch (bsCEM), Rajveer Kaur and the organisation’s current President, Ravinder Singh, were beaten brutally. Ravinder’s turban was forcefully removed and Rajveer Kaur was beaten by male police officers. The activists and the protestors are currently at the SurajKund Police station.
The National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations condemns in the strongest terms the anti-democratic tactics of the Haryana Police. The people were protesting to save their homes and families, and using such violent means to suppress the protestors only betrays the Haryana government’s autocratic attitude. We stand with the residents of Khori village, with the activists of bsCEM and others, and demand in unequivocal terms their immediate release.
Azim Khan,General Secretary, NCHRO, Delhi