HLRN Says 21 People Evicted Every Hour in India During COVID

Housing and Land Rights Network (HLRN), an advocacy group in India, reported that Indian authorities evicted about 21 people every hour during the coronavirus pandemic. 

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Indian government demolished over 43,600 homes and forcibly evicted over 257,700 people, or at least 505 people per day; or 21 people every hour,” HLRN stated in its new report on forced evictions in India.

The report added that the Indian authorities did not follow a due process like giving sufficient notice and compensation from the government.

“At a time when people were ordered to stay at home, authorities resorted to unlawful demolitions, probably taking advantage of curfew-like conditions when the movement of people and access to remedy, including to courts, was limited,” HLRN executive director Shivani Chaudhry said.

Amrish Kumar, director of the land management unit of Delhi Development Authority said authorities only demolished illegal encroachments. 

“Some of the informal settlements were eligible for resettlement and rehabilitation, but not all – and they were dealt with according to due process,” Kumar added.

Human rights experts at the United Nations in July appealed to the Indian government to end evictions during the pandemic, Reuters reported


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