Amnesty Urges India to Halt Bulldozing of Muslim Properties

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Amnesty Urges India to Halt Bulldozing of Muslim Properties

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Amnesty International has issued a fervent plea to Indian authorities, demanding an immediate cessation of the “unlawful” demolition of Muslim properties across several states. The rights group’s call comes as it released two new reports documenting the targeting of homes, businesses, and places of worship belonging to the Muslim minority.

Describing these demolitions as a form of extrajudicial punishment, Amnesty International has emphasized the urgent need for adequate compensation to all affected individuals. The reports highlight the significant impact of these demolitions, which have left hundreds of people, primarily Muslims, homeless and their livelihoods destroyed.

The London-based organization particularly called out the use of JCB construction equipment, widely employed in these demolitions, urging the company to condemn its machinery’s involvement in human rights violations publicly.

Key points from the reports include:
• Between April and June 2022, at least 128 properties were demolished using bulldozers, rendering at least 617 individuals homeless or affecting their livelihoods.
• Demolitions were carried out as a form of punishment by authorities in five states Assam, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi following episodes of religious violence or Muslim protests against discriminatory government policies.
• Bulldozers have become symbolic of the oppression of Muslims in India, particularly under the policy initiated by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, known for his anti-Muslim stance.
• Legal experts and rights groups argue that these demolitions lack due process and disproportiona-tely target Muslim communities.
• JCB bulldozers, manufactured by a UK-based company, are frequently used in these demolitions, prompting Amnesty to call for the company’s accountability in addressing human rights abuses.

Amnesty’s report underscores the need for India to uphold its obligations under international human rights law, including the right to adequate housing and social security. The organization reiterates that JCB, as a business entity, must take responsibility for the use of its machinery in human rights violations.

In response, a legal firm representing JCB attempted to distance the company from these violations, emphasizing the lack of direct control over the use of its products once sold.

This latest call from Amnesty adds to previous concerns raised over JCB’s alleged complicity in human rights violations, including its involvement in demolitions in Palestine. The company has consistently denied selling machinery directly to governments or contractors involved in such actions.

Amnesty’s advocacy underscores the ongoing challenges faced by Muslim minorities in India and the critical need for accountability and respect for human rights in government and corporate practices.