Major uproar in South Delhi as bulldozers reach Shaheen Bagh, MLA joins stir

Updated on May 09, 2022 02:26 PM IST

The chairman of the SDMC's standing committee (central zone), Rajpal, said the municipality will do its work and encroachments would be removed from wherever they were.

Locals protest in front of a bulldozer at Shaheen bagh in New Delhi on Monday.(Amal KS/HT Photo)
Locals protest in front of a bulldozer at Shaheen bagh in New Delhi on Monday.(Amal KS/HT Photo)
By | Written by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi

Residents of Shaheen Bagh area in South Delhi began a protest as the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) launched its anti-encroachment drive with the help of Delhi Police personnel on Monday. The drive was halted as the Supreme Court agreed to hear a petition against the same.

Earlier, locals were seen sitting on roads and stopping bulldozers that were brought for the demolition drive. Owners of some shops, where bulldozers were headed, removed scaffoldings for construction voluntarily. 

Amanatullah Khan, a legislator of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) had joined the protest. Khan said there were no encroachments in the area and bulldozers were brought only to indulge in politics.

The civic body's similar proposed drives in the Kalindi Kunj-Jamia Nagar area near Shaheen Bagh and in Sriniwaspuri were cancelled on earlier occasions due to the unavailability of an adequate police force. According to available reports, the main GD Birla Marg near Shaheen Bagh was currently choked and traffic movement was halted.

The SDMC has reportedly prepared a 10-day action plan to remove encroachment from several areas, including Shaheen Bagh. Shaheen Bagh had become one of the most prominent spots of the nationwide against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) two years ago.

The chairman of the SDMC's standing committee (central zone), Rajpal, said the municipality will do its work and encroachments would be removed from wherever they were.

“Our workers and officials are ready. Teams and bulldozers have been organised. Encroachments will be removed wherever they are -- be it in Tughlakabad, Sangam Vihar, New Friends Colony or Shaheen Bagh,” Rajpal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation had come under fire from several civil rights groups and opposition parties after it bulldozed structures in the Jahangirpuri area in an anti-encroachment drive. The operation was stopped following the Supreme Court's intervention.

Meanwhile, the CPI(M)'s Delhi unit and Hawkers Union moved the apex court on Saturday against the south Delhi civic body's demolishing drive, terming it a "violation of principles of natural justice, statutes and the Constitution" under the guise of an anti-encroachment drive.

They pleaded that they were not unauthorised occupants or encroachers as alleged by the respondents -- the South Delhi Municipal Corporation and others.

(With inputs from agencies)

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