Cameraperson: Ribhu Chatterjee, Swagatam Roy

Video Editor: Prashant Chauhan

“Now that elections are here, politicians visit us. When we tell them, ‘You destroyed our homes, do something about it,’ they tell us, ‘(PM) Modi was the one to destroy it.’ If we tell Modi, he will blame (Arvind) Kejriwal. Where should the poor go?” asked Khushboo, aged 26.

Just 15 kilometres away, 38-year-old Savita Kashyap, who resides in South Delhi’s Tughlakabad, added, “Why did they only bulldoze our houses? They should have run the bulldozers over us as well.”

Khushboo and Savita were among the scores of people across Delhi who were rendered homeless by massive demolition drives – at Pragati Maidan, Tughlakabad, and Mehrauli – ahead of the G20 summit in September last year. No rehabilitation was provided to these residents, most of whom belong to lower-income families.

According to a report by the Housing and Law Rights Network (HLRN), Delhi recorded 44 incidents of ‘forced evictions’ and slum demolitions in 2023. Around 2.8 lakh people were evicted by various state authorities in the national capital last year, the highest in any location in India.

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