“There are police in every street, it makes us feel like we’re terrorists,” says Shadab (name changed) sheltering under a tree from the scorching heat in Khori Gaon.
By Swati Thapa, The Citizen
The residents of Khori have been fighting the recent Supreme Court verdict to demolish the village with around 10,000 homes and over one lakh inhabitants, citing illegal encroachment of the ecologically fragile lands of Aravali.
But many of the residents have lived in these settlements for several generations. Most are daily-wage workers and have nowhere else to go.
“We have faced many hardships, we made this house with everything we had, we even had to feed our children less to make our houses here, where else will we go? We will not leave our homes,” says Noor Salma, a resident of 20 years.
The plight of most people here seems to be the same, many having invested lakhs to build their homes in the village.
“We never thought our lands would be taken away like this. Over the years our family has invested around 15 lakh rupees to build a suitable home for us, how does the government expect us to leave all our life’s work and settle somewhere else?” asks Shadab, whose family has owned their house in Khori for 30 years.