Residents of Ambujwadi, a slum in Malad, have been living in fear ever since the police knocked on their door at aound Wednesday midnight and detained nearly 200 of them without any valid reason.
The incident only served to heighten the tension among the residents already disturbed by the serial bomb blasts incidents that ripped through the city’s lifeline suburban trains a day before.
More than 35 police vans swooped down on the shanties and started banging and kicking on the doors. The sleeping residents were taken aback and before they could figure out anything, the police personnel just paraded more than 200 residents out and into the waiting vans. From there they were taken to the Malvani police station and questioned throughout the night.
Talking to Hindustan Times, Mohammad Naushad (22) who works as a cook said, his voice dripping with disgust at the manner in which the police handled the whole episode.
“We are poor people trying to eke a living and such action is not justified. We were not even allowed to change our clothes neither given the reason for our questioning,” said Naushad.
Ambujwadi located on the collectors land was one of the largest illegal slum in the city with over 16,000 families which was demolished by the BMC in 2004 demolition drive.
Due to the persistant protests by noted social activist Medha Patkar, over 7000 residents have built small shanties and are living in make shift houses with even light showers flooding their houses. The whole place is filled with garbage with a large number of pigs dotting the place.
Their constant complains are they are being unfairly targeted for the deeds of some anti-national elements.