Demolition Stopped In Delhi's Jahangirpuri Two Hours After SC Stay Order

An official said the anti-encroachment drive in Jahangirpuri, which witnessed clashes on Hanuman Jayanti last week, was stopped as soon as the order was received.

Bulldozer razing a structure in Jahangirpuri

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed an anti-encroachment drive by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation in Jahangirpuri area, but bulldozers were seen razing structures near a mosque in the area despite the order.

An NDMC official told PTI that the drive continued in the absence of a written order from the Supreme Court. The drive was stopped as soon as the order was received, said this official.

Bulldozers razed several structures in the area in the drive that went for around an hour and a half.

NDMC Mayor Raja Iqbal Singh said the drive has been stopped following the Supreme Court's order. He told PTI, "We will follow the Supreme Court orders. We have stopped the drive. The civic machinery there is now only lifting the garbage and other items lying on the roads in the area."

There is a heavy deployment of police and paramilitary personnel in the area. The officials said security forces were carrying out a flag march in the area and they had carried out an assessment of the situation before the beginning of the anti-encroachment drive. A drone has also been deployed to monitor the situation.

Ahead of the drive, people in Jahangirpuri C Block voluntarily removed their belongings from roadsides, according to officials.

A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana earlier on Wednesday stayed the anti-encroachment drive and also agreed to hear a petition challenging the action of the civic body that's allegedly aimed against those accused of violence in the area last week.

Violence had erupted in the area on Saturday when stones were pelted at a Hanuman Jayanti procession and vehicles were burnt, leading to clashes between two communities. Nine people were injured, including Delhi Polie personnel. 

The Delhi Police earlier this week said 23 people had been arrested for the violence. Moreover, two juveniles were also apprehended. Swords and firearms were also recovered from the accused. Five people have been slapped with the National Security Act, a stringent law that allows for detention up to a year without charges. Ansar, said to the violence's main conspirator, is among these five people. 

With PTI inputs