Friday, July 19, 2024
HomeNews ReportsNo home, no water: How Pakistani Hindu refugees are living in abysmal conditions in...

No home, no water: How Pakistani Hindu refugees are living in abysmal conditions in harsh summer after their houses got demolished in Jodhpur

Mahna Ram Bhil, another migrant living at the site, came to India in 2013. He was also living in the Sindh province of Pakistan. He and his family now walk for several kilometres to fetch food and water. Speaking to Swati, he questioned where his family would go if they were not allowed to stay there. He urged the government to allow them to build a house.

On April 24, Jodhpur Development Authority bulldozed the houses of Pakistani Hindus in Chokha village. While the migrant Hindus helplessly tried to save the roof on their heads, the administration continued the demolition and put their life at risk in the scorching summer heat. The Hindus have maintained they bought the land before building houses, but the administration claimed they had encroached on the land.

23-year-old Ramchandra Bhil is one of the migrant Hindus who escaped from Pakistan and reached India with the hope of a better future around four months ago. He was living in the Sanghar district of Sindh province in Pakistan. He came to India on a passenger visa. However, they have got a long-term visa to stay in India.

He walked for days before reaching Chokha village in district Jodhpur of Congress-ruled Rajasthan. He spent around Rs 70,000, his life savings, to buy a small piece of land to build a house and start living there. However, he and his fellow migrant Hindus from Pakistan are homeless with only a cot roof over their head.

These migrants escaped life full of atrocities and reached India with hope in their hearts, but their lives became worse after the bulldozers razed down their houses. They are now forced to live in temporary structures to save themselves from scorching heat. The children are unable to get food for one time, let alone water. Not to forget, the administration also demolished the only well that was saving them from thirst. Torn tarpaulins, empty utensils and their belonging scattered around was the scene after the so-called ant-encroachment drive.

Following the action taken by the administration, Swarajya magazine’s journalist Swati Goyal Sharma went to inquire about their condition. Ramchandra Bhil told her that he and his wife built the house with their lifetime earnings, and it has been razed down. They are forced to live under a cot-made roof in the scorching heat. They are forced to fetch water from far away as the well has been demolished too.

Mahna Ram Bhil, another migrant living at the site, came to India in 2013. He was also living in the Sindh province of Pakistan. He and his family now walk for several kilometres to fetch food and water. Speaking to Swati, he questioned where his family would go if they were not allowed to stay there. He urged the government to allow them to build a house.

Notably, other migrants are also hoping to rebuild their houses at the exact location. One of the enders, Chauthram, spoke to Swati and informed her about the scarcity of water. He said the migrant Hindus do not have water for drinking and other chores.

As per Swarajya’s report, while the houses of Hindus were razed down, the houses of Muslims still stand strong. The Pakistani migrant Hindus are forced to live in temporary tents made of bamboo and tarpaulin. During the demolition drive, one of the migrants, identified as Bhagchand Bhil, was arrested as he allegedly tried to instigate the people there. People are angry over his arrest. They questioned, “What was his mistake? He came here to have a better life. Was it his fault?”

When Swati was talking to the migrants, a Muslim identified as Furqan Khan Silawat from the nearby Muslim community came. He said, “We feel for these migrants. Did the Modi government bring the CAA bill only to create animosity between the two communities [Hindus and Muslims]? Why has he not given them a place to stay?” He introduced himself as a member of the minority wing of the Congress party.

Notably, a few years ago, the Rajasthan government allowed 1,700 plots to Pakistani Hindus in Chokha Gangana. However, to avail of the land, the Hindus must get citizenship of India. Most of the residents there came to India in 2013, but they could not avail of citizenship to date. Speaking to Swarajya, Dehraj Bhil, one of the migrants, said, “We keep going to the office and submitting our documents repeatedly. One day, it will happen, and we will have a permanent house.”

Not to forget, the government of India brought Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019 to help such migrants. Those who came on or before December 31, 2014, would have benefitted from it. However, due to the misinformation and propaganda against the Act, there were violent protests nationwide. The propagandists claimed CAA was discriminatory to Muslims in India. However, Indian Muslims cannot get affected by CAA as they are already citizens of the country. Moreover, if a Muslim wants to take citizenship in India, he or she can follow the process under the law.

Following the anti-CAA protests and the Covid-19 pandemic, the Act could not be implemented. The centre is yet to frame rules. In a statement, Home Minister Amit Shah assured CAA would be implemented after the pandemic. In January this year, the centre extended the framing of rules for the seventh time for six months.

Join OpIndia's official WhatsApp channel

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Recently Popular

- Advertisement -