Eviction of Dalit families sparks protests in Dehradun’s Tarla Aamwala

Reported by

Urvashi Mahtolia

Legal Data by

Anmol Gupta, Mukta Joshi

Edited by

Radhika Chatterjee

Updated by

Published on

July 25, 2022

July 25, 2022

Updated on

July 25, 2022

Location of Conflict

Tarla Aamwala

Sahastradhara Road, Near PM Awas Yojna Complex

Dehradun

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Encroachment by Non-Right Holders (Other than Caste-based)

(

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

20

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2022

State

Uttarakhand

Sector

Land Use

More than a dozen Dalit families in Dehradun’s Tarla Aamwala have been evicted by the Dehradun Municipal Corporation (DMC) in July 2022. The residents of the affected settlement, situated next to a Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) apartment complex, claim that the President of the Residents' Welfare Association managing the complex took lakhs of rupees from them in lieu of allotting formal land titles (pattas). An oral agreement was made for the same, and most of these residents managed to build tin-shed houses on the said land. The allotment, however, never materialised.

Some residents claim that the harassment began when they were unable to pay the full amount. They also believe the eviction and demolition to be an extension of this harassment. Earlier, a written complaint was also submitted to the mayor, where residents alleged wrongful restraint, casteist slurs, and abatement to suicide. The protesters have alleged a lack of due process and deceit, and claim that the municipal authorities gave them no prior notice before the demolition began. They are demanding a stop to demolition or rehabilitation of the evictees in the affected area.

Tara Devi, a resident who works as domestic help, alleged that they bought their land from the same person and had no idea that the land belonged to DMC. They had paid around three lakhs in instalments for the land, and Rs. 50,000 was remaining. Earlier, they used to live in slums but later spent their life’s savings on buying the land and building a tin-shed house. Now, many say they have nowhere to go.

Some residents claimed they had even taken loans for the land, which remain to be paid. Reports have also claimed that some apartments allotted to the beneficiaries of the welfare scheme PMAY have been sublet illegally.

Ashok Kumar, a daily wage labourer, living in the affected area since 2015, told LCW that almost all houses in the area were bulldozed without prior notice by the DMC on 11th July. “They came with bulldozers; two large and one small machine. Everything was destroyed, our ration, beds, everything; they didn’t even give us the time to remove the tin roof of our house.” He was unaware of any complaints made against them by any particular individual. Kumar and other affected people are also disappointed with local leaders and organisations. “Nobody showed up. Nobody has offered any help. It’s monsoon season, and our children and many others have fallen sick because they were drenched in the rain. Visit us, and you will see tears in every eye”, he added.  

Vinay Pratap Singh, Tax Superintendent at DMC, told LCW that the demolition drive was not being conducted based on any complaints but was a part of the DMC’s drive to clear its land from encroachment. He confirmed that around 20-25 houses had been demolished in the area, as on July 13, 2022. When asked whether prior notice was given to evictees or not, he did not give a clear answer, but said that the land belonged to DMC. He also shared that announcements were made in the area a few days before eviction. Congress Councillor Dr. Bijendra Pal Singh said that the eviction happened because the land belonged to the DMC. However, the case should be investigated, and a formal complaint should be lodged against the person who has been accused of selling DMC land.

This is not the first time that apprehensions over eviction have been raised. Earlier in 2020, the residents of Tarla Aamwala, accompanied by Congress leaders, protested against such eviction drives at the DMC office. However, the DMC officials had dismissed the news of eviction back then.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Complaint against procedural violations

Demand for legal recognition of land rights

Demand for rehabilitation

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Region Classification

Rural

Type of Land

Common

Type of Common Land

Non-Forest (Other than Grazing Land)

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Uttar Pradesh Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act, 1972, as applicable to Uttarakhand
Section 4 [Notice to be issued to affected parties in advance, specifying grounds for eviction] Section 5 [Evictee to be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard. Further, 30 days to be given to evictee to comply]
Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989
Section (3)(1)(g) [Wrongful dispossession of a member of a Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe from his land or interference with the enjoyment of his rights over any land will constitute an offence under the Act and is liable for punishment]
Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana 2021-22
The Guidelines state that the government must provide just compensation and sufficient accommodation to evictees immediately. At a minimum, the government must provide access to basic facilities such as food, water, and shelter, among others.
Report of the Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, A/HRC/RES/43/14, dated July 6, 2020
The Guidelines state that the government must provide just compensation and sufficient accommodation to evictees immediately. At a minimum, the government must provide access to basic facilities such as food, water, and shelter, among others.
Sudama Singh v. Deepak Mohan Spolia (C.A. No(s). 21806-21807/2017, Supreme Court)
The Supreme Court confirmed that the directions passed in the High Court judgment must be complied with precisely. Such directions include State agencies ensuring basic civic liberties to the evictees at the site they are relocated. 
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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

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    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-rehabilitation of displaced people

Forced evictions/dispossession of land

Scheduled Tribe status or lack of status

Lack of legal protection over land rights

Legal Status:

Out of Court

Status of Case In Court

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

Case Number

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Protests/marches

Complaints/petitions/letters/memorandums to officials

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Dehradun Municipal Corporation

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

LCW approached Mr. Vinay Pratap Singh, Tax Superintendent at Dehradun Municipal Corporation. He told LCW that the demolition drive was not being conducted based on any complaints but was a part of the DMC's drive to clear its land from encroachment. He confirmed that around 20-25 houses had been demolished (as on 13-07-2022) in the area. Responding to the question of prior notice to evictees, he added that the land belonged to DMC, however, announcements were made in the area a few days prior to eviction

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:
People living in make-shift tents on the rubble of their houses post demolition.

People living in make-shift tents on the rubble of their houses post demolition.

Image Credit:  

Urvashi Mahtolia

People living in make-shift tents on the rubble of their houses post demolition.

Affected area, on the evening of 13th July.

Image Credit:  

Urvashi Mahtolia

Loksakshya News

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Reviewed By

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Updated By

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Edited By

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