Bulldozers continue to bring down unauthorised constructions in Delhi’s riot-hit Jahangirpuri despite a Supreme Court order to halt the anti-encroachment drive in the area. Nine bulldozers of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) rolled into the locality this morning and started razing shops and other structures amid heavy police presence to prevent any law and order situation.
The apex court had earlier ordered a status quo on the eviction drive in the area, which has been tense since Saturday when Muslims had attacked a Hanuman Jayanti procession.
The Supreme Court will hear the matter again tomorrow.
When reporters approached the civic officials, questioning them why their demolition drive was going on despite the Supreme Court order, they said that they were yet to receive the order and would act accordingly once they get it.
The MCD ordered the anti-encroachment exercise following Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta’s letter to the mayor, asking him to identify illegal constructions by rioters and demolish them. The mayor termed it a “routine exercise”, but the timing of the order, especially since it came after the BJP’s chief letter, is troubling the pseudo-secular brigade.
Prior to the eviction drive, Special Commissioner of Police Dependra Pathak and other senior officers had taken stock of the situation in the area. The MCD had yesterday sought a force of at least 400 police personnel for the two-day anti-encroachment drive.
Delhi Police has been keeping vigil in Jahangirpuri since Saturday’s Muslim attack on Hindus when a Hanuman Jayanti Shobhayatra, which has traditionally been conducted every year on the occasion for years on the same route, approached a mosque in the area.
The clashes injured nine people, including eight policemen, as two groups threw stones at each other and a Muslim rioter fired a bullet that hit Sub-Inspector Medha Lal.
The police have arrested 25 riot suspects so far in connection with the violence. Five of them have been charged under the National Security Act, which allows detention up to a year without any charge.
Police personnel are making mutually conflicting statements in this regard. On the one hand, Pathak said, “So far, the probe does not suggest this (that it was planned). As of now it looks like it was all impromptu but now investigation is being done by the Crime Branch.” On the other, Delhi Police’s first preliminary report to the Ministry of Home Affairs called it prima facie a “criminal conspiracy”, a pre-planned attack and not a spontaneous clash.