Jahangirpuri Demolition: Youth Congress Activists Protesting Outside Union Minister's Residence Detained


Indian Youth Congress activists were detained on Thursday while staging a protest near union minister Hardeep Singh Puri’s residence against the anti-encroachment drive conducted by the North MCD in violence-hit Jahangirupri a day before, officials said. The IYC activists were detained from Akbar Road while they were trying to reach Puri’s residence, they said. In an official statement, IYC national president Srinivas BV said the BJP is pushing the country towards hatred and violence. “The ruling party is creating an atmosphere of hatred in the country. BJP’s conspiracy to trample on the truth, non-violence and justice will not succeed,” he said.

Around 25-30 activists were detained and taken to Mandir Marg police station, said a senior police officer. “The BJP is using bulldozers to crush the peace and harmony in the country. “We will keep raising our voice over such incidents, including in Jahangirpuri, where houses and shops of poor people were demolished illegally,” Rao said.

Bulldozers had razed several concrete and temporary structures close to a mosque in Jahangirpuri as part of an anti-encroachment drive by the BJP-ruled North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Wednesday, days after the northwest Delhi neighbourhood was rocked by communal violence. The Supreme Court had to intervene twice to stop the drive after it took cognizance of a petition filed by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind against the demolition. The area witnessed stone pelting, firing and arson last Saturday with groups of two communities clashing during a Hanuman Jayanti procession.

The Supreme Court, meanwhile, extended the status quo until further orders on the issue of demolition. A bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and BR Gavai issued notice to the Centre and others on the plea filed by the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind that claimed that buildings of Muslim riots accused are being razed. “Status quo to be maintained till further order… List after two weeks and pleadings to be completed till then,” the court said. The apex court also said it will take a serious view of the demolition on Wednesday, which was carried out even after its orders though the NDMC mayor was informed.

The action had come in the backdrop of demolition drives carried out by the BJP governments in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone and Gujarat’s Anand districts where bulldozers were used to pull down encroached properties belonging to alleged rioters. Malika Bibi, a resident of Jahangirpuri and a shopkeeper, said she had been running a fruit and vegetable shop for 25 years, which was razed without any prior notice from the authorities.

(With inputs from agencies)


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