Days after clashes in northwest Delhi's Jahangirpuri area, the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled North Delhi Municipal Corporation scheduled an anti-encroachment drive in the area on Wednesday and Thursday and requested 400 Delhi Police personnel's deployment to keep the law and order during the exercise.
Separately, Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta on Tuesday wrote to NDMC mayor to identify and raze illegal constructions of rioters in Jahangirpuri with bulldozers.
However, the Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the civic body's drive. The Court also agreed to hear a petition challenging the drive that's allegedly aimed against those accused of last week's violence.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave said in the petition that “a completely unauthorised and unconstitutional demolition” had been ordered. He alleged that the demolition, which was to start at 2 pm on Wednesday, had begun at 9 am without serving any mandatory notice for demolition to alleged violators.
These developments have come after violence erupted on Saturday in Jahangirpuri when stones were pelted at a Hanuman Jayanti procession and vehicles were burnt, leading to clashes between two communities. Nine people, including Delhi Police personnel, were injured in the incident.
The north civic body in a letter to the Northwest deputy commissioner of police said that a special joint encroachment removal action programme, comprising the public works department, police, works department, health and sanitation department, veterinary department, and NDMC's enforcement cell has been scheduled in Jahangirpuri.
“You [Delih Police are therefore requested to provide at least 400 police personnel including lady police/outer force for maintaining law and order during the encroachment removal action on April 20 or April 21 (9.30 am onwards) as per your convenience for three days,” the assistant commissioner, NDMC civil lines zone, said in the letter to the DCP.
Delhi BJP chief Gupta claimed anti-social elements carried out the violence last week and alleged they have protection of the local MLA and councillor as a result of which they have made large numbers of encroachments and illegal constructions.
"The illegal constructions and encroachments by these rioters should be identified and demolished with bulldozers and strict action should be taken against them at the earliest," Gupta wrote to Mayor Raja Iqbal.
The ruling Aaam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party have been engaged in blame game over the violence and arson in Jahangirpuri. While the AAP has been alleging that main accused in the clashes belonged to the BJP, the saffron party claims they belong to the AAP.
The Delhi Police earlier this week said 23 people had been arrested for the violence. Moreover, two juveniles were apprehended as well. 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)
The story has been updated to include the Supreme Court's stay order.