Delhi: Demolition drive in Jahangirpuri on despite SC order

New Delhi:

A bulldozer continued to demolish structures in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, the focal point of Saturday’s communal riot, despite a Supreme Court injunction today to halt what the BJP-led North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) called an anti-encroachment drive.

The Supreme Court put a “status quo” on the eviction drive in the area which witnessed a heated communal incident during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on Saturday. The case has been scheduled for an urgent hearing tomorrow.

Despite the court’s decision, bulldozers continued to demolish businesses and other structures. North Delhi Municipal Corporation officials said they had not yet received the order, but that they would continue to remove illegal structures until they did.

Sanjay Goel, Commissioner, NDMC, while speaking to news agency ANI said, “We just got to know about the SC order on the anti-encroachment drive in the Jahangirpuri area. Will read the order first and act accordingly.”

This morning, nine bulldozers dispatched by the city authority arrived in the neighbourhood and began demolishing stores and other structures in the presence of a large police presence in order to avoid any law and order issues.

The anti-encroachment operation was authorised when Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta wrote to the mayor, requesting that he locate and dismantle unlawful structures built by “rioters.”

While the mayor described it as a “regular exercise,” the timing of the order, particularly given it came after the BJP’s chief letter, raised suspicions about political motivations.

Special Commissioner of Police Dependra Pathak and other senior authorities surveyed the area ahead of the eviction drive. The city authority had requested at least 400 police officers for the two-day anti-encroachment operation yesterday.


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