Human Chain held against the Eviction Notice of Pongu PWD Colony

Bangladesh Dalit and Excluded Rights Movement (BDERM), Bangladesh Dalit Human Rights (BDHR) and Dalit Women Forum jointly organised a human chain and demonstration at 10:30 am on 9 October 2011 on the front of Agargoan Pongu PWD sweeper colony to demand the withdrawal of the notice of eviction and ask for safety housing for this colony people. About 500 men, women and children attended in this human chain programme. They hold Placard & Festoon written with “Our House Our Rights”, “Do Not Evict Us”, “Do Not Demolish Our House”, “Housing is Our Human Rights” etc. The Chairperson of BDHR, Bothanki Solomon says, “This community people are working as a cleaner in the city and government’s different offices. With this colony people we want to say that government must withdraw the eviction notice until make sure the permanent dwelling/ housing of these people. He further asks to construct housing of all colony of Dhaka city along with this Pongu immediately and allot those permanently to the dalit community people.” The Chairperson of Dalit Women Forum, Moni Rani Das says, “The government had rehabilitated the Mohammadpur colony’s people before the eviction of that colony in 2007. But now not to rehabilitate this colony people, government has given the eviction notice which is like human rights violation.” The Chairperson of BDERM, Mukul Sikder says, “Housing is every citizen’s human rights. The government speaks about the residence, education and health security for the poor and landless people. But without rehabilitation of these landless dalit and excluded community people, the government has provided eviction notice which can not be acceptable.” The Chief Executive of the human rights organization Nagorik Uddyog, Zakir Hossain has given the solidarity speech in the human chain programme. He says, “Government can not provide eviction notice before rehabilitate the residents. We, the human rights activists demand to the government not to evict these people from their dwelling place before rehabilitation.” The dwellers of this colony Aspi Apparaw, Lakhsmi Amma, Pala Amma, Joynal, Shamsu, James Nairu along with other human rights activists have participated in this human chain and given solidarity speeches.

Notably, this human chain & demonstration programme was widely coverage by the national level print and electronic media.