India hastily erected a 7-foot wall so that Trump wouldn't have to see a slum on his way to a rally
Indian workers construct a wall in front of a slum ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's visit, in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Feb. 17, 2020.
- India erected a brick wall so that President Donald Trump wouldn't see a slum as his motorcade drove through the city of Ahmedabad on Monday.
- The wall is 1,640 feet long and seven feet high, according to news reports, and now conceals the homes of some 2,000 people.
- Trump landed in Ahmedabad on Monday and drove past the wall on his way to speak at the "Namaste Trump" rally at the Sardar Patel Stadium.
- An Ahmedabad official said the wall was "part of a beautification and cleanliness drive," while a resident of the slum said the Indian government "wants to hide the poor."
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India hastily built a brick wall so that Donald Trump wouldn't have to see a slum as his motorcade passed through the city of Ahmedabad on Monday.
Authorities earlier this month commissioned a 500-meter (1,640-feet) long, seven-foot high brick wall along a road near the Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad, Reuters reported.
Trump spoke at the stadium as part of India's "Namaste Trump" rally on Monday morning.
President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrive for a "Namaste Trump" event during Trump's visit to India, at Sardar Patel Gujarat Stadium, in Ahmedabad, India, February 24, 2020.
The new brick wall obscured the homes of 2,000 people living in the slum, according to the Associated Press (AP).
"Apart from security reasons, the wall is also part of a beautification and cleanliness drive," said Bijal Patel, mayor of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, according to the AP.
"Whenever ministers visit the area, they hide it with temporary green curtains," a resident of the slum told the BBC. "They are building a wall this time. The curtains are taken down eventually, but this wall will remain."
"Poverty and slums are the reality of our life, but Modi's government wants to hide the poor," Parvatbhai Mafabhai, a 30-year resident of the slum, told Reuters.AP Photo/Ajit Solanki
FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2020, file photo, a woman looks at a wall painted with portraits of U.S. President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Forty-five families living in a separate slum near the Sardar Patel Stadium were supplied with eviction notices in advance of Trump's visit, The Guardian reported. Stray dogs, cats, and monkeys were also cleared from the area.
Trump did not mention his trip through the city to the stadium when he spoke to the 100,000 Indians gathered there.
Trump visited the Taj Mahal after his speech. He is to meet with India's prime minister, Narendra Modi, and president, Ram Nath Kovind, on Tuesday to discuss bilateral relations.
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