Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) demolished the houses of 15 Dalit families in Karol Bagh
On Thursday, 28 July 2011, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) demolished the houses of 15 Dalit families who had been living in the Karol Bagh area for the past 60 years. The demolition was conducted without any due process in clear violation of the residents’ constitutional and statutory rights. The forced eviction occurred even though an urgent petition had been filed on behalf of the residents by the Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) in the Delhi High Court, challenging the legality of the eviction and scheduled for initial hearing on Friday 29th July 2011. The residents, about 80 members of the Valmiki community (a scheduled caste), had been living on the demolished land for over 60 years. The community is comprised of society’s most vulnerable, including poor pregnant women and children, the elderly, the sick and the disabled. Initially occupied by an MCD employee charged with the upkeep of local facilities, as the families grew, various descendants started their own families and built homes on the land. Most of the residents had been born in the homes or married into families who had lived here since before Partition.