India: Protests against the decision to demolish 4,500 Muslim homes

Around 4,500 families, most of them Muslims, are facing an uncertain future after a court decision was issued to remove their homes in favor of a railway project, in Banbhul Pura district of Haldwani district in Uttar Khand state in North India. to clear the place a week before removing the buildings of their homes in which they inherited from their ancestors. The residents will face an uncertain future, they say, as they have lost the opportunity for their children to continue their education in the region, and are threatened with residing outdoors in the height of the winter season, according to local press reports.

The demands of the affected residents are supported by some opposition parties, as politicians from the opposition Congress party took part in their protest. Also the Muslim Indians Council of America considered the court’s decision a flagrant violation of human rights under the authority of the ruling Indian People’s Party led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The Indian American Muslim Council said the ruling threatens 4,365 homes, inhabited by about 4,500 families, mostly Muslims, and explained that bulldozers and heavy equipment will remove the homes, guarded by about 7,000 policemen and 15 popular groups.

The council rejected the court’s claim that thousands of families had been illegally occupied and that the land belonged to the railway authorities. He said this was a “false claim”, noting that thousands of families in the region pay their electricity bills, various utilities, taxes and other documents and credits that legalize their housing.

The state Supreme Court handed down the ruling, asking the concerned authorities to implement it, targeting old neighborhoods located near the Haldwani railway station, in the Muslim majority suburb of Ghafoor Basti. The decision was condemned by many popular forces, such as the Association of Scholars of India, opposition figures from the opposition Congress party, as well as Nayar Kazemi, an official of the All India Muslim Union Council party.