‘An Order Against the Poor’: Thousands Now Homeless After Khori Gaon Demolition

One resident darkly joked that when PM Modi said ‘Garibi Hatao’, the people misheard – what he was really saying was ‘Garib hi hatao’ (remove the poor).

By Naomi Barton, The Wire

The police force march through the demolished section of Khori Gaon. | Photo: Naomi Barton

Read the entire article at The Wire.


“First they told us to come here and make homes. They gave us everything, Aadhaar cards, we didn’t steal anything. We earned this money with our labour, and spent it on making these houses. And even then the government doesn’t think we deserve houses. We just want to be allowed to live here. We will make a tent and stay, if we can, let them break down our houses if they want, but just let us stay here.” 

The day grows more unbearable as the morning passes into noon. With high humidity and temperatures at 35 degrees, it is becoming dangerously hot, and the police have made themselves comfortable for the long haul. Many are lying down wherever in the lanes they have found shade, and several of them are lying down inside the houses they are here to demolish, with the residents having fled. This reporter was forbidden from photographing the police on threat of arrest. 

With the police growing more somnolent in the heat, they are no longer too concerned with keeping people away from the bulldozers, with the demolition well on track. One of the bulldozers at the start of the lane has had an engine failure, and in the ensuing pause, residents have crept back to see if there was anything salvageable from the remains of their homes.