INDIA: Illegal and brutal eviction throws slum dwellers on to the streets in Mumbai 

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is forwarding an appeal from the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) concerning an illegal and forced eviction of slum dwellers in Mumbai, India. It is alleged that the eviction is undertake at the behest of a private property developer. It is reported that human rights activists have started a fast in protest against the arrest of the protesters, and further demanding an immediate end of the illegal eviction.

If you have further questions, please contact the following persons in India:
1. Mr. Sumit Wajale +91- 9892727063
2. Ms. Madhuri Variyath +91 – 9820619174
3. Mr. Shrikanth +91 – 9179148973

Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC)


20 January
: In an absolute act of illegality and inhumanity, the Mumbai district administration began demolitions of the houses of the poor basti-dwellers (slum dwellers) at Ganesh Kripa Society, Golibar today. When the people and the activists confronted the administration, the administration used brute force upon the people. Eyewitnesses have reported of barbaric behaviour by the police. Male police officers in particular behaved in crude and humiliating manner and manhandled some of the women, resulting in the their dress being torn. It is reported that some police officers deliberately tried to snatch the magalsuthra (a chain or thread on which South Asian women wear wedlock) off from the women, an extremely humiliating conduct against a woman in the Indian context. One of the officers pulled Ms. Medha Patkar, an internationally acclaimed human rights activist, by her hair. It is reported that the eviction is at the behest of a private property developer, Shivalik Builders.

Persons taken into custody by the police are detained at different police stations including Nirmal Nagar and Bandra-Kurla Police Stations. The police officers responsible for the illegal actions include Mr. Mahabdi, Mr. Rokde, Mr. Salunke, Ms. Lalavade and in particular Senior Police Inspector Mr. Bagade who marched his force into Ganesh Krupa Society and started demolishing dwellings and abusing protestors.

Immediately, thousands of slum dwellers stormed the Western Express Highway and demanded the release of the detained activists and that the illegal and unjust demolition of their homes to be stopped immediately. Notably, many houses now sought to be demolished exist for the past 55 to 60 years in the locality.

It is alleged that Shivalik Builders has no legal right over the property. Should that be the case, instead of preventing an illegal encroachment upon the dwellings of the poor, of which most of them have perfected their title upon the property they posses by way of the operation of law in India, the administration continues to demolish and destroy huts and hearth of hundreds of poor families. Ms. Medha Patkar has begun a fast in protest against the incident. Thousands of basti (slum) dwellers across Mumbai under the banner of Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (save house, build house movement) have united in solidarity with the detainees and those who have already lost their property in the incident.

People from across the country are contacting the Nirmal Nagar Police Station (91-22-26471306 / 26470931) and SPI Bagade (+91-9821600134) requesting the immediate release of the detainees. Some persons have also contacted the Chief Minister of the state, Mr. Prithviraj Chavan (+91-22-22025151 and 22025222). Many have also sent emails to the Chief Minister at the minister’s email address:

We also urge you to do the same.

Please request the administration to:
1. Immediately release all the detainees;
2. Immediately suspend from service and take disciplinary action against all police officials and other persons involved in the illegal demolition;
3. Register cases against those who participated in the illegal action and used criminal force upon the people;
4. Take legal actions against Shivalik Builders.


Shivalik Builders: Another Saga of Illegality

In the name of ‘slum rehabilitation’ on 140 acres of land at Golibar in Bandra, the Shivalik Ventures have breached law and taken up work on the land leased out by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) to at least 45 societies. In order to undertake any construction at least 70 percent members of these societies have to give their consent. Such consent was not given to the builder or to the MHADA so far by the members of these societies. In addition, against the provisions of the Maharashtra Slum Areas Act 1971, the slum rehabilitation scheme is converted into a, what is known as the 3K-Cluster Project. This issue is challenged at the Mumbai High Court.

The property developers have been trying to promote the project with false claims as well as using violent and repressive means with the help of the local police force and by employing thugs. They have attempted to physically injure two local activists in the past.

The scheme itself is a fraud, committed with the blessings of the local politicians and bureaucrats. It is estimated that 65 acres of land belonging to the Defence Ministry has been illegally encroached already and constructions made. These illegal constructions have to be demolished.

Shivalik is now falsely claiming that what is built on the Defence Ministry’s land is only transit camps to accommodate those who are evicted. In reality however, the real transit camps, wherever they exist, are uninhabitable. Hence most of the evictees are staying in rented premises. Additionally, the evictions were undertaken in such haste that those who lost their houses were not given adequate notice. Those who resisted faced brute force. It is also alleged that the same property developers has encroached property belonging to the railways.

Even as the Adarsh and Lavasa construction scams continue to shame Maharashtra, there are hundreds of big real-estate developers across Mumbai and in the state who are the real encroachers, as against the hard-working urban poor, who in fact contribute the most essential services to the city.

We hope the Chief Minister will act quickly and initiate prompt actions against these criminal elements that cheat the people and are looting the nation.


Urgent Appeals Desk
Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) (

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER


Document Type : Forwarded Urgent Appeal
Document ID : AHRC-FUA-002-2011
Countries : India,
Issues : Corruption, Police violence, Poverty & adequate standard of living, Rule of law,