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Shaheen Bagh Anti-Encroachment Drive: Demolition Halted, SC Pulls Up SDMC

Protests erupted in Shaheen Bagh ahead of a demolition drive on Monday as hundreds of people including women started dharna in the area after SDMC officials reached the spot with bulldozers to carry out the exercise.

Shaheen Bagh locals demolishing illegal structures ahead of demolition drive
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Protests erupted in Shaheen Bagh ahead of an anti-encroachment drive on Monday as hundreds of people including women started dharna in the area as soon as the SDMC officials reached the spot with bulldozers to carry out the exercise. According to reports, demolition has been halted after locals took down illegal structures themselves including a shed. MCD officials present at the site confirmed to Outlook that the demolition had been halted temporarily.

As per reports, the South Delhi administration got a rap from Supreme Court which pulled up the civic body for carrying out the demolition drive despite the court hearing scheduled for 2 pm today. As per reports, AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan reached the spot and assured authorities that all illegal structures will be removed.

Previously, protesters raised slogans against the BJP-ruled South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) as well as the central government and demanded to stop the action.

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 when the Covid-19 pandemic had struck the city.

SDMC's Central Zone Chairman, Rajpal Singh had earlier told PTI  that 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,” Singh said.

Senior police officials were also present at the spot along with their personnel to provide security to SDMC officials carrying out the anti-encroachment drive in the area.

"Police personnel have been deployed at the spot where the anti-encroachment drive is being carried out. This is being done to ensure that the concerned civic bodies can carry out their work without any hassle and with all safety," a senior police official said.

The Shaheen Bagh demolition had initially been scheduled for Thursday but could not take place due to a reported shortage of police force.  The demolition is part of a10-day action plan by the SDMC to remove illegal structures from areas within its jurisdiction, including Shaheen Bagh which was the venue of gathering for the protracted anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests in 2019.

According to an official, the drive will cover areas such as the Shaheen Bagh main road, Kalindi Kunj, MB Road, Meharchand Market, Sriniwas Puri and Khada Colony. 

(with inputs from PTI)

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