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Wednesday, 25th March 2009

About 300 slum dwellers, along with activists Medha Patkar, Simpreet Singh, were arrested in Mumbai today evening. More than a thousand slum evictees were protesting in front of the Maharashtra Housing Area Development Authority (MHADA) building. They were protesting against atrocities and corruption by the builders in the name of slum rehabilitation. After a dialogue with the MHADA, Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) and Mantralaya officials, the representatives were about to go and meet the collector at 3 p.m. when the police suddenly lathi-charged without any announcement or warning and began arrest.

Thousands of people in Mumbai are still living in transit camps after being
evicted years back. The arrested women, more than 200 in number, were brutally lathi-charged and many women were molested and succumbed to injuries on the skull, legs and arms. When reports last came, the injured were being taken to hospital in batches. Many women and children are kept under custody in Bandra Kurla Complex.

Charges put against the people are absolutely fake. Police accused that people have attacked them while the reverse is what actually happened. They were charged under sections 353, 332, 142, 147, 149, some being non-bailable offences.

Vijaya Chauhan,  Dipti Bhatnagar,  Shrikanth


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