- 40,000 dwellers being evicted
- Protests erupt, locals clash with police
- Eviction without notice or relocation, locals say
- Govt will free the illegal occupation today
Protests erupted today in a slum of Dhaka’s Kalyanpur area and clashes pursued when police and ministry officials showed up for an eviction drive this morning.
Agitated locals, who claimed they were being evicted “without any prior notice,” threw brickbats at police and burned scrap materials in protest against the drive.
The drive began around 9:30am in Natun Bazar area on a piece of land owned by Housing and Building Research Institute. Police brought down a tin-shed kitchen market there that housed around 350 shops.
Protests erupted soon after the drive began. Locals threw brick chips at police. The law enforcers also retaliated with some rounds of teargas shells, our correspondent reports from the spot.
“There is about 50 acres of land in this area. About 15 acres are under illegal occupation. We will free this land today,” said Jamiruddin, an architect of Building and Housing Institute.
Nur Alam, an executive magistrate of the ministry of housing and public works, said the government issued repeated notices beforehand. “We will free this land from illegal occupation today.”
The land also shelters a slum, adjacent to the tin-shed kitchen market, that houses around 40,000 families. Officials said this slum will also be brought down.
The eviction is being conducted without any prior notice, said Md Mamun, who has been living in the slum for the past 27 years. “The government promised us of no eviction without rehabilitation.”
Locals demand proper rehabilitation before eviction.
Eviction drive was underway when this report was last filed. Four bulldozers were employed to bring down the makeshift structures.