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The eviction of Mr Kartar Singh Bajaj, a disabled 61 year old Afghan Sikh, was postponed last week after the Council was flooded with faxes and emails. A Community Care Assessment was carried out, but the social worker has told Mr Bajaj that his needs are not great enough to be of concern to the council, and he is to take his chances on the streets of Glasgow. Mr Bajaj has congenital kypho-scoliosis, an acute curvature of the spine. He has limited mobility and difficulty breathing. But he should be okay, according to the council, sleeping on a good Glasgow pavement. The eviction will take place on Wednesday.
Today, the Secretary of State for Dawn Raids, Tony McNulty, visited Glasgow to announce that his response to unrest in Scotland over his jackboots approach to refugee families is to appoint a regional Immigration Director and a new UK Immigration arrest force to be imposed on Scotland to take over from Police, unhappy at their role in traumatising children in dawn raids.
He also announced today that a “lead professional” from social services or education will be a liaison point the forcible removal of children born and brought up in Scotland to warzones like Iraq or Afghanistan. That must be very comforting for the thousands of people living in constant fear of the dawn raid.
Such are the concessions won by Jack McConnell from his bosses at Westminster. Thanks Jack. Well done.
But perhaps a lead professional from Glasgow City Council’s social work department could explain why the same social worker who told disabled refugee Mr Kartar Singh Bajaj, of Cardonald, Glasgow, to go home to Afghanistan last time he interviewed him, was the very same social worker sent to assess his care needs last week? And perhaps a lead professional could explain why the eviction that was postponed by the Director of Social is to be carried out by Sheriff’s Officers on Wednesday, while Mr Bajaj still awaits his medical report to go with the Community Care Assessment? And perhaps a lead professional could explain how the denial of shelter to a disabled elderly man who speaks little English does not amount to a breach of his rights under the European Convention of Human Rights?
Supporters of the family are desperately trying, once again, to prevent the council from evicting this vulnerable man and his family. We remind the council that they have the legal duty to provide housing and support to any person, regardless of their immigration status, if withholding such support would be breach that person’s human rights.
Glasgow: the Caring City? Aye, right. It’s about time the council stopped doing McNulty’s dirty work, and stopped turning their over-worked social workers into immigration police.
Let Mr Bajaj stay in his home, and let his two sons stay in the country to work and to rebuild their lives. To put this family onto the streets or send them back to Afghanistan would be a human rights scandal.
Glasgow No Borders
Two weeks ago the Glasgow No Borders Network managed to delay the eviction of the Afghani Sikh Bajaj family from being evicted whilst the council carried out a Community Care Assessment.
To carry out the assessment the council sent the same social worker who had already told the Bajaj family to return to Afghanistan in December. The decision to evict the family was confirmed yesterday afternoon despite the request for medical information being only delivered to the family's GP on Friday and too late for it to be considered.
An independent Community Care Assessment carried out this morning (paid for independently of the council) came to the conclusion that for medical and welfare reasons, the Bajaj family should not be made homeless. Unfortunately the formal reportfor this will not be ready for the Bjaj's lawyer until Thursday at the latest.
Mr and Mrs Bajaj are both elderly and suffer from a number of complaints, not least the fact that Mr Bajaj suffers from serious back problems including severe curvature of the spine. Their teenage children live with them, trying to attend college and looking after the Bajaj's grand-daughter.
They do not feel they can safely return to Afghanistan. Under the Taliban regime Sikhs and Hindu's were subject to severe discrimination and persecution - being forced to wear yellow patches and having their businesses boycotted. During the civil war many Sikh templkes were used as military bases and were subsequently destroyed and the population of Sikhs has fallen from 200,000 Sikhs and Hindus before 1992 to 3,500 families in 2004. Returning families have found that their homes and businesses have been seized by the Northern Alliance warlords and have little to live on. Many families are living in the few remaining temples.
The eviction is due to happpen at 11.30 tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.
No Borders Glasgow is calling for people to come along and show support for the Bajaj family during the eviction. Meet outside tower block 5, Queensland Court, Cardonald from 10.00am.
Take a 9, 55, 54 or 34 bus along Paisley road West from Glasgow city centre. Get out at the Morrisons supermarket in Cardonolad and walk down Maule Street to almost the motorway. Queensland court is the two tower blocks and number 5 is the second one from the road.
By train take a train to Cardonald station from Central station. Turn left out of the station, walk along the road, over the bridge and then turn right. 5 Queensland Court is the second tower block.