Heavy police and paramilitary forces were deployed in violence-hit Jahangirpuri during Wednesday’s anti-encroachment drive in the area, even as the local Mayor called it a “routine exercise”.
The drive was undertaken a day after Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta wrote to the party-ruled North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to identify illegal constructions of “rioters” in Jahangirpuri and demolish them using bulldozers.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court, in the forenoon, ordered the stopping of the demolition drive by authorities in the area of Delhi and agreed to hear a petition challenging the action of the civic bodies allegedly aimed against the accused of the communal offences.
As the demolition drive continued even after its order, the apex court directed the court’s Secretary-General to convey about the order to the NDMC Mayor and the Delhi Police Commissioner immediately to stop the demolition drive.
The area had witnessed violent clashes, including pelting of stones, arson and firing, between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on Saturday. Eight police personnel and a local resident had sustained injuries.
Here are the latest updates:
Action taken on basis of 'crime', not on 'community': Naqvi on Jahangirpuri arrests
Hitting out at those alleging biased action in the Jahangirpuri violence case, Union minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Wednesday said action has been taken on the basis of "crime and conspiracy", not on "caste and community".
The senior BJP leader's remarks came after All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi alleged that "one-sided action" is being taken in the Jahangirpuri violence case.
Shops in ruins after Jahangirpuri anti-encroachment drive
Riot hit Jahangirpuri was a scene of destruction, despair and helplessness on Wednesday after an “anti-encroachment” drive by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) left the area’s shops in ruins, and its residents, mostly Muslims, without their source of livelihood.
Apart from the shops, the area’s revered Jama Masjid’s gate and boundary walls were also destroyed during the drive.
As the bulldozers drove at around 10.15 a.m. towards the area’s C-Block, where most of the Muslim residents live, and began razing the makeshift kiosks and shops lining the road opposite Kushal Cinema, shopkeepers were left picking up whatever remained in the aftermath of the destruction. While some of the shops were partially damaged with the razing of their roofs and outer walls, most temporary structures were completely destroyed.
Switch off bulldozers of hate, switch on power plants: Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday attacked the government over the use of bulldozers in violence-hit areas of Delhi and Madhya Pradesh, and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to switch off “bulldozers of hate” and switch on power plants.
“Eight years of big talk has resulted in India having only 8 days of coal stocks,” he said on Twitter.
“Modi ji, stagflation is looming. Power cuts will crush small industries, leading to more job losses.
“Switch off the bulldozers of hate and switch on the power plants,” he also said.
Mr. Gandhi’s reference was to the use of bulldozers in the anti-encroachment drive in Delhi’s violence-hit Jahangirpuri and in Madhya Pradesh against people who the BJP alleges have indulged in rioting. — PTI
Communicate to Mayor: SC
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave makes a second urgent mentioning before the CJI that despite the SC ordering the encroachment drive to stop, it is still continuing.
“Despite the world knowing the court’s order... Despite knowing you have intervened, they are continuing saying we have not received the order... This sends a terribly wrong message”, Mr. Dave told the CJI.
The Court then orders Secretary General, Supreme Court, and Judicial Registrar to immediately communicate to the Mayor, Delhi Police Commissioner, NDMC and NDMC Commissioner that it has ordered status quo in the Jahangirpuri demolition drive
The eviction drive continues despite the apex court order, “Since the court order is et to be received, the anti-encroachment drive is continuinng”, says a North DMC official.
SC halts demolition drive
Following an urgent plea by senior advocate Dushyant Dave, the Supreme Court on April 20, 2022 orders status quo in the eviction drive being carried out by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation in the riot-hit Jahangirpuri today.
Bulldozers reach Jahangiripuri
Bulldozers have reached Jahangirpuri to carry out a proposed “encroachment removal action programme” by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation.
The Delhi Police said that they will provide adequate protection to the agency to carry out the drive.
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Tuesday requested at least 400 police personnel to maintain law and order.
Officials said security forces were carrying out a flag march in the area and they took stock of the situation before the drive was launched. A drone had also been deployed to monitor the situation.
Ahead of the drive, people in Jahangirpuri C Block voluntarily removed their belongings from roadsides, they said.
(With inputs from Agencies)