Opposition leaders, Muslim groups, and Senior Lawyers attacked the government over the use of bulldozers in anti-Muslim violence-hit areas of Delhi, saying the government is harassing and targeting the Muslim community.
Hours after the Supreme Court ordered that the demolition of houses be halted in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, the “anti-encroachment drive” came to an end, with the top court scheduled to hear the matter on Thursday. The drive Jahangirpuri was continuing despite the Supreme Court’s status quo order. CJI NV Ramana then directed the SC Registry to communicate its order immediately to the municipal authorities and Delhi police officials.
The demolition of houses and shops by Muslims comes days after a Hindutva violence broke out in the area. On Wednesday morning, security was heightened across the city, and in Jahangirpuri in particular. A total of 12 companies (around 1,250 jawans) of the CRPF have been deployed in the city in two shifts, most in and around Jahangirpuri.
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind secretary Niaz Ahmed Farooqui said that by initiating this drive days after the violence was witnessed less than a week ago, the government is favouring rioters.
He said the government is “targeting a community” and urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to intervene and stop the demolition drive.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to switch off “bulldozers of hate.”
CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat reached Jahangirpuri, where the drive is underway despite the Supreme Court halting the action.
“At 10.45 am, the SC gave an order to maintain the status quo on the demolition drive, I have come here for the implementation of the order,” she told reporters.
Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan said the demolition of the houses of “a particular community” just to “harass” them in the holy month of Ramadan on the pretext of an anti-encroachment drive will further spoil the atmosphere in the area.
While mentioning that the demolition drive in Jahangirpuri was continuing despite the Supreme Court’s status quo order, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave said that it sends a terribly wrong message that even after SC order it is not being stopped.
This comes a week after authorities in at least two BJP governing states Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh demolished dozens of homes and shops belonging to Muslims who were arbitrarily arrested or booked in the cases related to anti-Muslim violence during the Ram Navami festival.
This comes also a day after Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta wrote to the North MCD Mayor, demanding identification and demolition of “illegal encroachment” and construction by those arrested in the Jahangirpuri violence.
BJP chief said: “These anti-social elements and rioters have the support of local AAP MLA and councillor and as a result these people have done large-scale encroachment. Therefore, illegal encroachment done by these rioters should be identified and there should be bulldozers run over it.”