BANGALORE: The Burhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has suspended Mahadevapura assistant executive engineer Narayana Swamy in connection with the demolition of about 300 huts in three settlements of Bellandur on the pretext that they were illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
BBMP authorities admitted that the "blatantly illegal" action was conducted without issuing notices to the people concerned, said a Times of India report. It called the demolition a "rogue act by its lower-level officials."
"We've no business evicting people from a private land and demolishing their structures without issuing notices to them. This is not our method of operation. I had not been informed about it," BBMP commissioner BH Anil Kumar told TOI.
The English daily quoted Mahadevapura additional commissioner D Randeep as saying that even if a private landowner wants BBMP to conduct a demolition, a report needs to be prepared and approved by the commissioner.
“The callous conduct of AEE Narayana Swamy has brought disrepute to BBMP. Every officer needs to follow protocol, which includes bringing such information to our notice before taking action,” Randeep said.
Narayana Swamy has reportedly admitted that he had acted under political pressure. When asked how he concluded that they were illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, he said that political leaders had tweeted about these illegal migrants and they were asked to evict them
The evicted residents alleged that not only were they not given any advance notice, but officials also ignored their fervent pleas and documents proving they were bona fide citizens of the country.
Activists said that most of the demolished huts were occupied by people from ural parts of Kalaburagi, Bagalkot, Raichur and Koppal districts of Karnataka, West Bengal, Odisha, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and other states. Residents here pay Rs 2,000 to Rs 3,000 as rent every month to an agent, who claims to represent the land owner.
Image Credit: Scroll.in