- Protests erupted in Shaheen Bagh on Monday with hundreds of people, including women, opposing the SDMC’s anti-encroachment drive as bulldozers rolled into the area in presence of heavy police personnel
The locals in Shaheen Bagh in Delhi staged a protest in the wake of the civic body South Delhi Municipal Corporation waiting to start the anti-encroachment drive amid huge resistance.
Protests erupted in Shaheen Bagh on Monday with hundreds of people, including women, opposing the SDMC’s anti-encroachment drive as bulldozers rolled into the area in presence of heavy police personnel.
Protesters raised slogans against the BJP-ruled South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) as well as the central government and demanded that the action should be stopped. Some women protestors also stood in front of bulldozers to prevent the exercise, according to news agency PTI report.
Here are the top updates from the ongoing protests in Shaheen Bagh:
- AAP MLA Amanutullah Khan joined the protest slamming the BJP, he told reporters, “people have already removed encroachments on my request. ‘Wazu khana’ and toilets outside a mosque here were removed in the presence of police earlier. Why have they come here then? Just to do politics?”
- SDMC’s Central Zone chairman, Rajpal Singh, told news agency PTI, “Our teams with bulldozers, trucks and police force have reached Shaheen Bagh to remove illegal encroachments there. Removal of encroachment is our obligatory function which we are carrying out.”
- Shop owners, where a bulldozer was headed, were seen removing the scaffolding for construction voluntarily. Meanwhile, the Delhi Police personnel were present in huge numbers on Monday to provide security to the civic body.
- It is important to note that while the anti-encroachment drive was earlier scheduled for last week, it was later postponed. “We’ve already informed police about our program and our officials. Bulldozer also reached there (Shaheen Bagh area) but due to the non-availability of sufficient force, we postponed today’s program,” Rajpal Singh had said at that time.
- Additionally, the demolition drive comes as the national capital gears up to vote for civic body polls. The AAP has alleged action by the BJP against the poor.
- This development comes following the deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia saying just last week that “the BJP has made a plan to run bulldozers in 1,750 unauthorised colonies and 860 Jhuggi Jhopadi (slum) colonies because these are illegal. First, their councillors allowed illegal construction and made money and now they want to demolish them. The BJP should first run bulldozers on houses of their councillors who allowed such illegal constructions.”
- Notably, Shaheen Bagh that falls under the central zone of SDMC, was the centre of protests and sit-ins against Citizenship (Amendment) Act in December 2019. The sit-in was called off in March 2020 amid the pandemic. On Monday, traffic movement was blocked near Shaheen Bagh amid the demonstrations against the anti-encroachment drive.
(With inputs from agencies)
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