FORCED EVICTION OF COVID-19 PANDEMIC

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Since as we know that the coronavirus pandemic has affected the lives of the people and the situations of the country in such a way that to come out of that will take time. This pandemic has resulted in a global public health emergency and not only because of this crisis the major economic and social crises have also emerged. There were many more measures that were taken to contain the spread of the virus spite of all these measures the virus has spread in such a way that people were left with no choice that where to go and what to do because the hospital was also not that much or the facilities, oxygen cylinders, bed was not getting people were standing from so long so that they can get but at the end, they lose the hope. There was so long lockdown due to which the people who belong from marginalized they have lost their livelihoods, income and the education due to all these things the hunger growing and they do not have any means from which they can feed their family. in India, as we remember the complete national lockdown started from 25th of march 2020 to 31st of May 2020 and not only this there were extensions too as per the cases. People who belong from rich and the upper and the middle-class family they had something savings from which they cannot sleep empty stomach but people who are poor and they earn and eat they everyday sleep empty stomach there were situations like that people had stopped allowing them to come to their places .when they ask for the work and in return, they want food but no one understand their situation there were many more who left this world due to hunger .

This lockdown has affected the lives of all the people and in all the people every one is included the   urban  and rural poor, including daily-wage workers, homeless people, agricultural labourers, single  women  farmers, older persons, indigenous/tribal/Adivasi communities, Dalits/Scheduled Castes, persons with disabilities, transgender persons, and those living without adequate housing, people who are very rich or the high class people they have also suffered in the lockdown and the pandemic because the virus has not left anyone with his effect.

In this pandemic no one was left with its affect and the effect was so harsh that most of the people even after going to hospital did not return from there.

The pandemic has changed the scenario of the world the state and the central government they both did not hear the call of the world health organization they have violently violated the call of the authorities not only this they have also violated the call of the India’s ministry health and family welfare they were asking people that to stay at home because it was really very difficult to come outside from home because the spread was so high that people were unable to stay fit.

Destroying the houses and at the same time they rendering them from their home. The virus was so dangerous that it has taken the lives of the people. Authorities have destroyed their homes and the result of that they all had suffered a lot and there was the spread of virus too much that everyone was worried about their family and wellbeing and at the same time by destroying homes and rendering people homeless during a highly contagious virus directly increases their exposure and presents an adverse risk to their health and lives. Such actions constitute a violation of international and national laws and policies, and of multiple human rights of affected persons.in this time there was the housing and the land right network that has stood which is against the practice of the forced eviction in the period of the covid 19 pandemic and this eviction was the gross violation of the human rights particularly the human right to adequate housing, as asserted by the United Nations (UN) human rights system on multiple occasions. Given the undocumented but serious crisis of evictions in India, HLRN established a ‘National Eviction and Displacement Observatory’ in 2015.

The Observatory monitors forced evictions and displacement across rural and urban India, so the main aim of this was that to collect the data and compiles data on incidents of forced eviction—through primary and secondary research means from any of the way they have to collect the data and then they have to or they try to  provides support and assistance to affected communities with relief, redress, restitution, and access to justice, where possible because it’s very unfair with them and it’s the infringement of their fundamental right to live .Justice plays an important role in the life of everyone justice is justice and it has the same meaning for everyone so if the poor people are forcefully getting evicted from their places then in that case they should get their rights and justice.

When there was an absence of the data of home demolition, evictions, and displacement in India then in that case the HLRN has created the Observatory to document.

Despite the critical importance of adequate housing which is given and also it is very important in both ways as a means of prevention and for recovery—in dealing with pandemics like COVID-19, the Indian government has not paid more  attention to reducing the incidence of homelessness or to improving the quality of housing of the urban and rural poor during the pandemic or in its recovery plans , this improvement was very necessary because people were suffering at that time they were homeless and the pandemic was increasing day by day , they were not having anything to eat. All these things whatever happened in the time of the lockdown and the pandemic all became like a business to them and because of which there were at least 20,000 people who all were get forced evicted  between 16 March and 31 July 2020.

To protect the people from such a dangerous pandemic the housing was very important its importance was very crucial but there were about 20% people who lost their house they did not had any place to live and the pandemic was also impacting then and the result of that is they have lost their family members in a huge amount. People who had house they were also suffering from the same situation they family members were suffering from this pandemic and again the new virus has come omicron. And the data and cases which are rising day by day it only depicts that this may become more dangerous that the corona in Delhi every day the cases are rising and people are not understanding that what to do still in every place people are getting outside .As we know that in Allahabad too the cases are coming . The government should take the proper measures in this before it spread in a bulk of amount and takes the lives of everyone. At that time the forced eviction was very bad decision and due to which people faced so many problems and they were unable to get any shelter and food. And if we see like there were at least the 45 incidents of the forced evictions across India in this the covid-19 pandemic . There was the lockdown like from 25th march to 31st may 2020 and the most important thing that the evictions has taken place in lockdown so that they can take the advantage of the curfew. This was so harsh .

Recognizing the crucial importance of housing so that they can protect the  people from the pandemic, so in that scenario the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights called on State parties to impose a moratorium on evictions during the pandemic and this was the best decision they have taken so that they can save the lives of the people and also their homes. The former UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, in a guidance note emphasized that the human right to adequate housing could not be derogated in times of emergency and not only they have also urged me and said that to end all the evictions. In light of the economic recession that would follow the pandemic, she was also been  called for measures to protect security of tenure and to ensure that no one means people who were evicted from their houses should not get any problem and they are rendered homeless which is for a reasonable time after the end of the pandemic, because this pandemic was so harsh that it has taken the lives of the people.

In such a bad pandemic the several Indian courts like the Allahabad high court, Bombay high court for the state of Telangana also directed the state authorities that not to evict people or demolish homes which is during the lockdown period because e at that time the people were already facing such a bad virus and when they will be evicted from their homes then where they will go, they do not have money to eat hoe they will live. Poor people were the main who suffered a lot at that pandemic because they do not have any income from which they can stay in one place nothing to eat. Despites all these orders which were given by the high courts the HLRN has recorded at least the 45 incidents of the forced eviction during the lockdown period across India which was very harsh for them.

For instance like there are some of the places where the eviction took place  in Siddipet, Telangana, authorities demolished 30 homes of Dalit farmers in the middle of the night, without prior notice, it’s the rule that when to demolish the house there must be given a prior notice means 30 days before the demolishing of the home but at that time with them, they did not get ant prior notice.

So now if we see that the state of the  Odisha, the Kalahandi Forest department has forcibly demolished homes and destroyed belongings of 32 Kondh Adivasi/tribal/indigenous families in Sagada Village without any prior information which were given to the owner and the family members. And the same thing will also happen with the  In Manipur’s Macheng Village, forest officials with the help of the police, evicted families of the Rongmei Naga tribe, early in the morning, on grounds that they were ‘encroaching’ on forest land. The  most important and the harsh thing that has happened with them is when the  Villagers who protested the drive were dispersed by the police, reportedly, with force involving the use of tear gas and rubber bullets, this was very harsh and they have done all these things in the period of the coronavirus . in which time the people were already suffering from this pandemic in between that they have evicted forcefully with their homes at night or in the lockdown period when no one was ready to give anyone shelter.

In Rewa, Madhya Pradesh, local authorities have demolished the 20 houses for the ‘beautification’ of a pond, rendering daily-wage labourers homeless during the lockdown. This was the very harsh and at the same time it was very bad decision which was taken by the authorities because in such a pandemic you are demolishing someone’s house so that to build a pond , where all those people go and live in this situation where no one is allowing others to live at their place not even to give any food.

Reportedly, affected families have faced the brunt of multiple evictions and had been resettled at the site of demolition by the Rewa Municipal Corporation. When this was about to get published or at that particular time all the people who were got evicted from their homes, they all were staying at the streets and the footpath and also in the parking area in a lot of a Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) project and were still awaiting resettlements, because till what they will stay there , they also need their homes . This was very bad with them that their houses have been demolished and now they are living at the parking lot of a Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana only this even the Madhya Pradesh government  has also carried out the  several incidents of the forced eviction of the same the tribal and the Dalit families in the months of the June and the July of the 2020 and at that time the virus was spreading so much that from each family at least one was passing.

Now let’s see there is one case that , in June, there were the  forest officials they have  set fire to the house of an Adivasi family in Siwal and not only this they have also at the same time  threatened to destroy more homes in the area, reportedly, and the only aim behind all these things was that they wanted to prevent villagers from cultivating land.

And if we the news or read the newspaper then it was clear that on 12 July, the state Forest Department has razed the houses of over 100 tribal families in Hardi Village of Rewa District, and the only thing that so that they can clear the ‘encroachment on forestland.’ The villages who all were Affected at that time and due to their action then they have  however, claim to have been living in the area for over 30 years and with rights to the land under The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act 2006 (hereafter Forest Rights Act 2006).there was one very harsh suicide which was committed by the farmers and the reason behind that was they were evicted from their homes and this thing he could not digested and attempted the suicide  On 14 July, a Dalit couple in Jaganpur Chak Village of Guna District and he has taken the pesticides so that he can end his life after evicted from their home and also forcefully beaten up by police.

And if we see then in the city of the  Bilaspur which is in the state of  Chhattisgarh, then in that state the state administration has evicted about 400 families which they all were  living in government housing to accommodate those evicted from 160 houses for the ‘beautification’ of the Arpa River. Despite the rise in COVID-19 cases in the state, they became so much heartless ,feelingless that firstly they have evicted them from their home and after that all those families whose homes has been demolished, they have been  forced to live out on the streets without food and water. In such a coronavirus period all those people were not giving anyone shelter in their home because this the virus which spread too much and make others ill. Also in June 2020, in Shakur Basti, Delhi, officials of the Indian Railways forced 13 families to demolish their own houses after threatening to evict them, they all were forced that they themselves by their own demolish their home otherwise they will get evicted from their house. At the end they had demolished because there was threat which was given to them.

As we know that in the July 2020 in Delhi where the cases were so much that people were unable to get shelter in that period , the East Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Public Works Department Delhi destroyed about 100 houses  which is in the East Laxmi Market, Delhi during a three-day demolition drive and from that thing almost that rendered 150 families homeless during the peak of the pandemic in the city. Not only this has happened after looking at the position of demolishing the houses one thing again has also happened that  in July, 35 houses of the marginalized Gadia Lohar community were demolished in Gurugram by the state administration, without any prior notice, means they have to give at least 1-month prior notice but without any prior notice they have demolished their houses and now they are at street. Authorities destroyed personal possessions and livelihood items of affected families during the demolition process. This was the worst part of the pandemic .

And as we know that in the pandemic period during the lockdown there were thousands of the homeless people like from Maharashtra and Delhi, they all have been evicted in that period itself from their habitual sites and now they are brought to their temporary shelter which is bad because they have lost everything . there is one more case of this like the members of the Pardhi community they all were living from so long  under Mumbai’s Western Express Highway flyover for decades in the period of the pandemic and the lockdown they all were forcefully removed from that area and that was the time when there was national lockdown announced.

It is been decided by the authorities that they are not allowed to stay at that place and the result of that is they all were evicted from their houses and their houses has been demolished by force. Low-income individuals, groups, and communities already face high vulnerability to contracting the virus on account of their inadequate living conditions, because they do not have so much of luxury aur the money that they can spend they had the  low levels of nutrition, and lack of access to healthcare, water, and sanitation and because of which they have suffered more that any rich people .To demolish their homes and evict them during the pandemic greatly amplifies the risk to their health and lives because living at street is very difficult in such a pandemic and the virus was spreading so much that at least from one family minimum 2 people were getting affected and maximum whole family. And such of very harsh act of the  state can violate the Constitution of India and international human rights law ratified by India, which guarantees to all residents of the country that they all have their own the fundamental right to life; the right to an adequate standard of living, that includes the rights to adequate housing and food; the right to health; the right to education; the right to equality; and the right to remedy, including access to justice all these things has been snatched with them , and this was very bad with them and it was not good and these things no one can take with them. It’s their right.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
https://www.hlrn.org.in › Forced_Evictions_2020

https://www.downtoearth.org.in › news › governance

https://indianexpress.com › Cities › Delhi

https://thelogicalindian.com › Trending

Author: ALKA SINGH, BENNETT UNIVERSITY, GREATER NOIDA

Editor: Kanishka VaishSenior Editor, LexLife India

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