On the 29th of May, the police and the BMC came to demolish homes in Sion Koliwada. Seven people including Medha Patkar were picked up, locked inside the police van and driven away to the police station. Kalpesh Shivkar’s home was demolished before the residents drove the bulldozer out.
Meanwhile at the police station, Medha tai and other residents wanted to file an FIR against police officers who manhandled the residents, particularly the women but the police refused to take the FIR.
Then on 30th May, when the residents of Sion Koliwada were helping Kalpesh Shivkar re-build his home, which was demolished illegally, about 50 securitymen hired by builder Sudhakar Shetty showed up with the police and threatened the basti people. 2 police vans stayed the whole night and even the ACP came to ‘protect the basti people’.
By the next day, word had spread and people from Kandamwar Nagar, Golibar and even Ambujwadi – a basti that is also facing the threat of demolitions , showed up to support the people of Sion Koliwada. At about 5 pm on the 31st, the police called a bulldozer to demolish Kalpesh Shivkar’s re-built home. Protesting women were brutally dragged, some by their hair to the waiting police vans and driven to the station where charges were filed against them. Madhuri Shivkar, a resident of the basti had put out a call for help on Swara the night before, was also arrested. In all 25 women and Jamil Bhai from Ambujwadi were arrested and sent into custody. One of the women has a 6 month old daughter at home.
At the police station, no one was allowed in. Tens of policemen and women guarded the gates. There were reports that the women were thrashed. Some of the arrested were taken to the hospital for treatment of wounds, after which they were taken away to the lock-up.
The bail case will be heard on June 1 in Kurla court.