Amnesty International calls for end to ‘unlawful demolitions’ of Muslims’ homes, businesses in India


PTI, Feb 8, 2024, 9:17 AM IST

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New Delhi: Human rights organisation Amnesty International on Wednesday said the widespread ‘unlawful demolitions’ of Muslims’ homes, businesses and places of worship through the use of JCB bulldozers and other machines must stop immediately.

In two reports, titled If you speak up, your house will be demolished: Bulldozer Injustice in India and Unearthing Accountability: JCB’s Role and Responsibility in Bulldozer Injustice in India, the rights group documented the ‘punitive demolition’ of Muslim properties in at least five states with a widespread use of JCB-branded bulldozers or diggers as the brand of choice in a hate campaign against the minority community.

The Amnesty International called on the Centre and state governments to immediately halt the de-facto policy of demolishing people’s homes as a form of extra-judicial punishment and ensure that nobody is made homeless as a result of forced evictions.

They must also offer adequate compensation to all those affected by the demolitions and ensure that those responsible for these violations are held to account, the rights group said.

‘The unlawful demolition of Muslim properties by the Indian authorities, peddled as ‘bulldozer justice’ by political leaders and media, is cruel and appalling. Such displacement and dispossession is deeply unjust, unlawful and discriminatory. They are destroying families — and must stop immediately,’ said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s secretary general.

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