Slum dwellers evicted are Bangladeshis, says Limbavali

Slum dwellers evicted are Bangladeshis, says Limbavali

The tin-roofed sheds razed to the ground near Sakra World Hospital in Bellandur on Sunday. DH PHOTO/S K Dinesh

There is a twist in the demolition of about 400 tin-roofed homes around Bellandur Lake in southeastern Bengaluru. 

Local MLA, Aravind Limbavali of the BJP, has claimed people who lost their homes are illegal Bangladesh immigrants. According to him, the settlers had occupied the lake’s buffer zone and possess “fake” Aadhaar cards and other IDs. 

“It’s not just the demolished homes; they have actually occupied much of the land around Bellandur Lake. They show fake Aadhaar cards when asked about their origins. But their Aadhaar cards and other IDs don’t give the full address and other details,” Limbavali said. “They also tried to enrol on the voters’ list but we thwarted their efforts.” 

Limbavali said that while slums usually come up on government land, in this case, the tin-roofed sheds were built on private land. They had to be evicted as per the National Green Tribunal’s orders because the land is a buffer zone of the lake, he added. 

The MLA refuted the allegations that the slum dwellers hailed from the Northeast. “People from Assam, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh mostly work in restaurants but these Bangladeshis are cheap labourers who work in mortar works, housekeeping and garbage collection. Contractors prefer them because they can be paid lower wages,” he said. 

The BJP legislator said police had booked the slum dwellers for “many crimes” and they had all the evidence to show their “Bangladeshi origins”. 

He hoped the foreigners’ detention centre coming up in Bengaluru would keep illegal immigrants at bay.

“Bangladeshis and Nigerians work for drug traffickers, water mafia and anti-national agents, causing a nuisance to local residents,” he said. He conceded that landowners had rented the place for financial benefits and that police would soon take strict against them. 

Bellandur corporator A Asha said the BBMP had just followed the NGT’s orders by demolishing the homes. She said the homes had come up just 15 days ago. She, however, refused to comment about the slum dwellers’ origins. 

Local residents said the slum dwellers would cause a drunken nuisance at night and defecated in the open.