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Some Displeasure After Wall Is Built Before Trump Visit

Residents of the India slum behind the wall aren't happy about it
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 18, 2020 1:56 PM CST

(Newser) – A 1,640-foot brick wall has been hastily erected in India's Gujarat state ahead of a visit by President Trump, with critics saying it was built to block the view of a slum area inhabited by more than 2,000 people. Trump is visiting the city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat during a two-day trip to India next week to attend an event called "Namaste Trump," which translates to "Greetings, Trump," at a cricket stadium along the lines of a "Howdy Modi" rally attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Houston last September. Trump is to drive along a road next to the slum and will be accompanied by Modi, who is from Gujarat. "Why not use [the money] to improve our slum and provide better facilities for us," said a resident. "Why are they hiding us poor people?"

A senior government official said the 4-foot-tall wall was built "for security reasons" and not to conceal the slum. The AP reports the wall was supposed to be as tall as 7 feet, but the height was reduced after it received widespread publicity. Authorities on Monday also served eviction notices to 45 families living in another slum area near the cricket stadium. Residents said they were asked to leave because of the upcoming event, but a government official said the land belongs to the civic body and evictions were done under the law. He didn’t say why the notices were sent just days ahead of Trump’s visit.."We have been living here for the last 20 years and now we are suddenly being told to vacate because some important leader is visiting this city for a day," said one resident. "This is injustice."

(Read more India stories.)

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