Segregation on ethnic lines has often manifested in various forms of exclusion and group in equality. The spatial manifestations of violence in globalizing spaces of ‘divided cities’ also exhibit rigid patterns of community based ‘self-sorting’. The communalization of public and private housing with regard to demography has been a significantly pronounced exclusionary crisis in Indian divided cities. This paper, an abridged version of my MPhil thesis, concerns such a unique case. It assesses the impact of Disturbed Areas Act 1991 (‘The Act’) on ghettoisation in Ahmedabad city against the background of mass violence. The paper thus concerns the dynamics of spatial segregation in cities of Gujarat around residential and commercial property disputes. It conducts a socio-legal examination of ten case laws (2002–2021) by responding to the literature on divided cities. It argues that informal zoning practices of community led self-sorting behavior at the ground level, coupled with the Act’s operation (and the demand for its extension as legal protection), disparately impact existing group inequalities pertaining to housing access, afford ability and individual residential mobility in urbanizing spaces.

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