The residents had obtained, through RTI applications, documents to prove that the builder, Shivalik Ventures, had forged their signatures on a consent letter authorising his participation in the project to redevelop their land. The other big scam is that the builder is constructing on Air Force land, having tampered with the city plan in collusion with MHADA(Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority).
On November 24th last year, the police and MHADA officials came to demolish the slum but were met with resistance from the people, specially the women and were forced to go back without having broken a single house.
On 19th January, a day before the demolition, Medha Patkar speaks to the residents of Ganesh Krupa Society preparing them for a non-violent satyagraha against the corruption of builders in the slums of Mumbai.
On 20th January, MHADA officials arrived with a 300-strong police force armed with tear gas, a demolition squad of about 50, 2 bulldozers, 9 police vans and 2 ambulances. The peaceful protest by the people was met with violence from the police. Women were beaten up and molested. 22 homes were illegally demolished, despite a notice that only ordered eviction.
Here are testimonies of people who were affected by the demolition. A 15-year-old boy was beaten with a lathi(police baton) while an old woman was thrown out of her home before the police took away all her belongings.
On 2nd February 2011, the demolition drive in Ganesh Krupa continues. Despite a High Court order directing investigation into forgery done by Shivalik Builders, over-zealous SRA officials refuse to back off. The people of the society sit in the central courtyard while their houses are broken down around them. Formal appeals to the DCP and Collector are falling on deaf ears. Some people from the society are now sitting on a Fast-Onto-Death to protest this injustice of the government.