Updated: April 18, 2022 10:44:58 am
Days after Hasina Fakhroo’s house built under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana was demolished by the district administration in the Khaskhaswadi locality of Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone, the government reached out to the family over the weekend, providing them ration and exploring rehabilitation options.
The Indian Express had reported on Monday, April 13, that 60-year-old Fakhroo’s was one of the 12 houses demolished in the locality as part of a drive against illegal properties following clashes nearby during a Ramnavami procession a day earlier.
On Saturday (April 16) afternoon, officials from the district administration along with those from the Nagar Nigam visited Fakhroo and her family who have taken shelter in an abandoned mosque nearby. After providing them ration, the officials took the thumb impressions of family members, and informed them they would be moved into a multiplex.
Hasina Fakhroo’s son Amjad Khan said, “They (the officials) first told us they will shift us to a multiplex, but that building is in a communal area, so we refused. Then the team asked us where our old house was. We told them we have been living in Khaskhaswadi for three decades, but they still went around with locals searching for our house in different localities.”
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When contacted, Khargone District Collector, Anugraha P told The Indian Express, “The government will rehabilitate the family.”
While district administration officials said the plot occupied by Hasina Fakhroo’s family belonged to the revenue department, Amjad Khan showed tax receipts and electricity bills from 2017-18 based on which his father Fakhroo Pathan had applied for benefits under the PM Awas Yojana. He said the family had been living in the kuchha house on that plot in Khaskhaswadi for three decades.
After Fakhroo Pathan – the primary applicant under the PM Awas Yojana – died in September 2020, his wife Hasina became the beneficiary. The first instalment of Rs 1 lakh under the scheme was credited into Hasina’s bank account on October 28, 2020. “We moved to a makeshift shed in the plot and began constructing our house in place of the kuchcha house. We received the second installment of Rs 1 lakh on March 31, 2021. We too spent our savings of Rs 1 lakh towards construction. We received the final instalment of Rs 50,000 on April 4, 2022,” said Amjad Khan, showing the bank passbook.
Soon after the construction was completed under the PM Awas Yojna, Hasina Fakhroo received a notice from the Khargone tehsildar on September 17, 2021, stating the plot was on government land. Asking her to submit an explanation by September 29, it also said they could face legal action including eviction. “We went to tehlsildar’s office on September 29… they would make us sit the whole day, only to give us another date… We are daily wagers and can’t afford to sit in government offices all day, but we still kept going there,” Amjad said.
In the reply submitted to the tehsildar’s office on behalf of his mother, Amjad Khan stated, “The woman (Hasina) is a widow who has constructed the house under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. She does not have any other plot apart from this. If required, this can be investigated and verified. We request justice.”
Meanwhile, Amjad Khan also received a call from the corporation officials to come and take a certificate dated December 31, 2021, issued by Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan congratulating his family on construction of the house under the PM Awas Yojana.
While the third and final instalment under the Awas Yojana was credited to Hasina’s bank account on April 4, 2022, she received a notice on April 7 stating the house was built on encroached land and hence should be vacated. It asked them to submit a response within three days or face demolition.
“We prepared our reply on April 9, but since it was a Saturday, we could not submit it at the tehsildar’s office. On April 10, curfew was imposed in town (following the clashes) and we couldn’t step out… the next day, a team of officials came and demolished our house with bulldozers,” said Amjad.
A mother of five sons and two daughters, Hasina said, “My married daughter has a house, but it is too small for all of us. It was then that our community people came forward to help. Akram bhai gave us a place in this wada (cowshed) and three days after the demolition we removed broken utensils from under the rubble for cooking food.” On his part, Akram Khan said, “It does not matter if it is Amjad or Akshay, I opened my house on humanitarian grounds for them to stay until they find a shelter elsewhere.”
A team of district officials accompanied by a police force visited Hasina Fakhroo’s family at Akram Khan’s cowshed and took photographs and videos. “They asked us if we would like to shift to a dharmshala where we would get food, but we refused. We told them we don’t want to go anywhere and are concerned over our safety and life. A roof has been provided over our head by our community and we are staying here,” she said.
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