Tina Dabi orders demolition of Pak Hindu migrant homes in Jaisalmer

Displaced Pakistani Hindu migrants.

Homes of Pakistani Hindu migrants have been demolished in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan on orders of IAS Tina Dabi. These migrant Hindu families who had fled Pakistan under inhumane conditions are now forced to live in the open during scorching summer heat of Rajasthan. This is the second incident in less than a month where the residential colonies of Hindu migrants from Pakistan have been mercilessly demolished by the Rajasthan government. The first was in Jodhpur, where two residential colonies of Pakistani Hindu migrants were torn down.

Scattered hopes

On May 16, the district administration of Jaisalmer demolished 28 housing structures and shelters at the Amar Sagar area belonging to Hindu migrants displaced from Pakistan. Terming the temporary settlement as ‘encroachment,’ the administration set their homes ablaze. The migrants are staging a dharna outside the district collectorate, but instances of forcefully dragging a woman were witnessed. The migrants, however, said that they wouldn’t budge from the dharna site until they were resettled elsewhere.

The administration under the 2016 batch topper IAS Tina Dabi defended their move. Tina Dabi said that the action was taken after complaints were received from the Amar Sagar Sarpanch and various local residents. They claim that the migrants have occupied the land that allegedly belonged to the state government’s urban improvement trust (UIT). She added that prior notice was also served to the refugees, but they refused to vacate. Dabi stated that the state government has not yet provided any guidelines regarding the resettlement of migrants who have not been granted Indian citizenship.

How is India any different?

It was 2019 when the Indian government passed the Citizenship Amendment Act. Have they implemented it? No. The path that was provided to gain Indian citizenship for certain religious minority groups from neighbouring countries, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan, is still unclear. “Religious persecution in their home countries,” which was the basis of the CAA, has been deeply undermined.

Hindus in Pakistan who somehow came to India after escaping the terror and repression of the Pakistani government are facing the same deplorable condition in India. How is India any different for them? There is neither empathy nor a law to protect these migrants. Who should we blame? The government that is delaying its implementation or the administration that fulfilled the official duty but failed in ethical service.

We need to assess the seriousness of the situation and provide formal citizenship to the displaced residents. The government’s and administration’s apathetic approach is causing enough harm, and we cannot afford to add to it.

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