Hyderabad police round up homeless people before Ivanka Trump visit

Indian city introduces ban on begging in run-up to business summit featuring daughter of US president Donald Trump

Police in Hyderabad have banned begging and started rounding up homeless people before the start of a business summit featuring Ivanka Trump.

Nearly 400 people in the southern Indian city were detained by police on Wednesday and lodged in a rehabilitation facility at Chanchalguda jail, according to the Indian Express.

About 6,000 people are expected to be taken to such facilities before the arrival later this month of the eldest daughter and adviser of Donald Trump, the US president.

Ivanka Trump will speak at the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, an annual meeting of investors and people starting new businesses, which this year is focused on the theme of empowering women. Her attendance is a diplomatic boon for India and has been trumpeted by the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, in several tweets.

Ivanka
Ivanka Trump is the eldest daughter of Donald Trump and has acted as an adviser since he took office. Photograph: Andrew Harnik/AP

Across Hyderabad an IT hub that has lately been experiencing a slowdown in the industry manholes are being replaced, roads repaired and buildings and signs repainted.

An unnamed officer told the Indian Express that some homeless people were objecting to be ushered out of sight. Some beggars argued that we were taking their freedom to live anywhere they want, but we told them it was for their own good because they are going to the rehab centre where they will be taken care of, the officer said.

The citys police commissioner, M Mahendar Reddy, said in a notice that it had come to his attention that people were begging alms in an indecent manner.

They are also employing children and handicapped persons to solicit or receive alms at the main junctions of the road, he added. Such acts are causing annoyance and awkwardness.

On Friday, a senior police officer, who asked not to be named, told the news agency Agence France-Presse that the action was part of Hyderabads routine anti-begging efforts and should not be linked to Trumps visit. He said the city had set up a rehabilitation centre where homeless people could be housed until they were able to lead normal lives.

Hyderabad police conducted a similar initiative before a state visit by the former US president Bill Clinton in 2000.

India has been trying to ensure the bilateral relationship that burgeoned under George W Bush and Barack Obama continues under Donald Trump. The country is an eager customer for US weapons and military equipment.

The begging ban will remain in place until January. The summit starts on 28 November and runs for two days.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/nov/10/india-hyderabad-police-round-up-homeless-people-ivanka-trump-visit