From violence to anti-encroachment drive in Jahangirpuri: All you need to know

The drive continued even after the apex court directed the authorities to stop it. Officials said it was because of the absence of a written order from the court.
From violence to anti-encroachment drive in Jahangirpuri: All you need to know

CHENNAI: Bulldozers demolished several structures at Jahangirpuri on Wednesday amid a heavy paramilitary and police presence during the NDMC's anti-encroachment drive that was stopped within hours following a Supreme Court order.

The drive continued even after the apex court directed the authorities to stop it. Officials said it was because of the absence of a written order from the court.

Violence and anti-encroachment drive in Jahangirpuri?

Jahangirpuri witnessed violent clashes, including stone pelting, arson and firing, between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on Saturday. Eight police personnel and a local resident were injured in the clashes.

The ruling AAP and the BJP have been engaged in blame game over the violence and arson in Jahangirpuri. While the AAP has been alleging that main accused in the clashes belonged to the BJP, the saffron party claims they belong to the AAP.

Later, the NDMC had requested the Delhi Police on Tuesday to provide at least 400 security personnel to maintain law and order during the two-day anti-encroachment drive in the area.

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.

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 has also been deployed to monitor the situation.

Supreme Court's order

A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana ordered the stopping of the drive and agreed to hear a petition challenging the action of the civic bodies allegedly aimed against those involved in Saturday's communal clashes.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana ordered status quo in the present situation, and said the petition would be listed before an appropriate bench.

Senior advocate Dushyant Dave mentioned a petition against the special joint encroachment removal action of civic bodies including the NDMC and the PWD, and said a completely unauthorised and unconstitutional demolition has been ordered.

He alleged that the demolition, which was to start at 2 pm on Wednesday, has begun at 9 am and no mandatory notice for demolition has been served on the alleged violators.

Despite the court's directions, bulldozers were seen razing structures near the C-Block mosque in Jahangirpuri, where the violence had erupted on April 16.

Dreams 'razed'

Malika Bibi's hopes to secure a better future for her children shattered when her fruits and vegetables shop, the sole source of her income, was razed by civic authorities at violence-hit Jahangirpuri in northwest Delhi on Wednesday.

A similar tale of woe was narrated by Nazma, whose sister Rahima "lost everything" as her tea shop near the C-Block mosque at Jahangirpuri was razed to the ground by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) during an anti-encroachment drive.

Malika Bibi said she had been running the shop for 25 years and it was razed without any prior notice from the authorities.

"They razed my shop and took away four carts. This was the only source of income for our family of five. I have two kids and both are studying in primary schools. I am worried how their studies will continue and have lost all hopes for their good future. I am clueless about recovering our losses," she said.

"My sister Rahima (40) had a shop near the masjid and it has been demolished. The shop selling tea, coffee and other items helped her run her house but she has lost everything now. She did not get a notice or an order prior to the demolition. We are not being allowed to come out of our homes," lamented Nazma (35), who used to help her sister in the business.

Ganesh Kumar Gupta, whose fruit juice shop was also razed, said he will go to the court.

"My shop was registered under DDA allotment in 1977. I have been running after police and other officials with my documents since the morning. My shop was razed at 11.30 am, I told them about the Supreme Court order but they did not listen to me. I will go to the court," Gupta said.

Another resident of the area, Mohammad Rahman, said, "This is like punishing the whole community. If you want to punish, then punish the accused who have been arrested. Why are you punishing the whole community? People have lost their livelihood."

with inputs from agencies

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