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The 10th December Carnage on Human Rights Day

The 10th December Carnage on Human Rights Day


The 10th December Carnage Kolkata Eviction on Human Rights Day

Dulal Das, 48, a cart puller committed suicide hours before the eviction

On 10th December 2002 when the world was observing International Human Rights Day the West Bengal Government was brutally evicting 4000 families. Beliaghata eviction will be remembered as 10th December carnage. This incidence will be marked as a monumental mistake in the history of West Bengal.  Till date none of the 4,000 families have been provided any alternative accommodation.

In early eighties it was the same Left-Front government in West Bengal that had provided alternative site to the same inhabitants at the Beliaghata canal side. The dispossessed residents have their names in the electoral roles and ration cards as proof of residence.

This was a joint operation executed by Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority and the State Irrigation Department. The state administration and the opposition both were involved in this barbaric act. These elite projects have been supported by Asian Development Bank, which has made thousands homeless in the city.

Days before eviction Rapid Action Force were marching each day armed with sophisticated weapons threatening the inhabitants to leave the locality.  On 10th December heavy police force with bulldozers arrived.  First the residents specifically women resisted the eviction,  but as they were busy arguing against eviction with the authorities a mysterious fire broke out within the locality,  the residents believe that this was the handy work of authorities so that all their belongings are gutted down and they would need less efforts to crush the belongings through bulldozers.

The eviction operation began at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, 10th December 2002.   It was reported that hours before the evictions a cart puller, Dulal Das, 48, had committed suicide. Sima Das, a nine year old girl, told The Statesman reporter, "Government people came and threatened me that they would shoot us if we won't leave the house".  After the entire operation was over Beliaghata canal resembled a crematorium ground on Human Rights Day".

Following are the excerpts from the Kolkata newspapers:

The Statesmen, Kolkata, 11th Dec 2002 Sima Das a nine-year-old girl child lost her father seven months before the Beliaghata eviction that had taken place in Kolkata-city. Their mother left the home days after her father died. Sima was living alone with her four younger sisters and a two-year-old brother at Beliaghata Canal side. Sima's elder sister was working as domestic help and the house owner would rarely allow her to visit their sisters' home...

Just a day before the eviction at Beliaghata Canal, Sima gave her account to The Statesmen reporter, "Government people came with a coupon, they took my thumb impression and threatened me that they would shoot us if we won't leave the house".

There were around 4000 families who had rendered homeless and undergone similar pain, anguish and separated from family members after the Beliaghata eviction. These inhabitants were residing along two-kilometer stretch starting from Orange Sura down to Ghaznavi Bridge.

The Telegraph, Kolkata, 12th Dec 2002 "Our own political masters have cheated us, they've exploited us for decades as assured vote bank. We had cast false votes, threatened voters with guns and bombs and forced them to vote in their favor and also sustained injuries in return, but when the residents at Beliaghata needed them most, the political leaders 've deserted us". - An angry Communist Party worker at Beliaghta canal.

The Times of India, 11th Dec  2002 Hours before the demolition a cart-puller Dulal Das (48), committed suicide. His wife Lakshmi said, he ended his life because he couldn't bear the tension to find a suitable shelter, for his nine-member family.

Mayor of Kolkatta, Subrata Mukherjee, "This is undoubtedly an achievement. This place was a breeding ground of all sorts of diseases and crime. Kolkata Municipal Corporation KMC will take up a beautification drive along the evicted stretch of the canal."


This report is prepared on behalf of National Forum for Housing Rights India. The Forum is a network of independent organizations in the country on housing rights front that campaigns against the practice of forced evictions and advocates the provision of residential land to the working class population in urban centers.

Following are the list of network organizations:

Campaign for Housing And Tenure Rights (CHATRI)
Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) Sannihita
Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) Ashray
Adhikar Abhiyan
New Delhi

Human Rights Law Network
New Delhi Sajha Manch
New Delhi India Centre for Human Rights & Law Mumbai

Nivar Hakk Suraksha Samiti (NHSS)
Mumbai (Maharashtra)  Committee for Right to Housing (CRH)
Mumbai (Maharashtra) Chennai Slum
Dwellers Rights Movement
Chennai (Tamil Nadu)

Pennurimai Iyakkam
Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) Manabadhikar
Suraksha Moncha (MASUM)
Howrah (West Benga)l  Human Rights Law Network
Kolkata (West Bengal)

Ucchhed Birodhi Jukta Mancha
Kolkata (West Bengal)  Jan Sanhati Kendra
Kolkata (West Bengal)  Lawyers for Human
Rights International (LHRI)
Chandigarh ( Punjab)

Jan Sangarsh Manch JSM
Ahemdabad ( Gujarat)
Lucknow ( Uttar Pradesh)  Vigyan
Lucknow ( Uttar Pradesh)

Ankur Yuwa Chetana Shivir
Lucknow ( Uttar Pradesh)
           People's Vigilance Committee on Human
Varanasi ( Uttar Pradesh)  Chattisgarh
Voluntary Health Association
Raipur (Chattisgarh)

Chattisgarh Action Research Centre
Raipur (Chattisgarh) Chattisgarh Yuva Samaj
Raipur ( Chattisgarh)  Muskan
Bhopal ( Madhya Pradesh)

People's Research Society
Bhopal ( Madhya Pradesh) Samwad
Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh) Jan Vikas Kendra
Indore ( Madhya Pradesh)

Jhugghi Basti Sangarsh Morcha
Indore ( Madhya Pradesh)


Appeal for Action
We appeal to the national, international human rights bodies and financial institutions to respond immediately to West Bengal government against this barbaric act.

The West Bengal state should abide by international and national laws which makes mandatory to any evictees for an alternative provision. Such policies and provisions are consistently practiced in all other states in India.

The Forum recommends the readers to send large number of protest letters through emails and faxes on Human Rights Day to the following addresses.

Budhadev Bhattacharya
Chief Minister,
Govt. of West Bengal.
Writers' Buildings, Kolkata-1
Fax :- 91-33-2214 5480
Tel: 91 33 214 5555
Email: cm@wb.gov.in;
cpimwb@cal3.vsnl.net.in; prsecycm@wb.nic.in

Ashok Bhattacharya
Minister In-charge of Urban Affairs &
Urban Development
Municipal Affairs Department,
Govt. of West Bengal.
Writers' Buildings,
Tel:91 33 214 5497
Fax : 91-33-2214 3853
Email: cpimwb@cal3.vsnl.net.in;

Amalendu Roy
Minister In charge of Irrigation & Water Ways
Tel: 91 33 214 3612
Fax: 91 33 321 5210

Subrata Mukherjee
Kolkata Municipal Corporation
Tel: 91 33 244 7519
Fax: 91 33 2442578
Email: cmcmayor@vsnl.net

The President

The Prime Minister

The National Human Rights Commission
chairnhrc@nic.in; nhrc@ren.nic.in.

Please email a copy of the protest
letter to National Forum for Housing Rights on

National Forum for Housing Rights,
Campaign Secratariat Office: C/o Deenbandhu, 3 Usha
Nagar Main, Anapurna road, Indore - 452009, Madhya
Pradesh, Tel: 0731 278888, 2788340  website:

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