Bulldozers in Shaheen Bagh: Drive halted after protests

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An anti-encroachment drive in Shaheen Bagh, centre of the massive protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, was halted soon after it began today following the intervention of the local MLA, Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Amanatullah Khan, ANI has reported.

The exercise by south Delhi’s BJP-controlled civic body started amid heavy police presence but it was met with protests from local residents. As a bulldozer rolled in, supporters of the Congress and AAP, including Khan, reached the area. Khan said he had got all illegal structures in the area removed and there werenone now.

Khan also spoke to representatives of the local market association in the presence of police and got a temporary structure removed. The bulldozer returned soon after. Earlier, Rajpal, a senior functionary of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation, had told news agency ANI that the “municipality will do its work”.

“Our workers and officials are ready, teams and bulldozers have been organised. Encroachments will be removed wherever they are,” he had said. South Delhi mayor Mukesh Suryan had told ANI people of Delhi support this drive.

Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta had written to the civic body’s mayor last month, demanding removal of encroachment by “Rohingyas, Bangladeshis and anti-social elements”.

The demolition drive at Shaheen Bagh had started under the shadow of a similar exercise in north Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, days after a communal clash broke out in the area during a Hanuman Jayanti procession. (ANI)

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