Supreme Court halts NDMC demolition drive in Delhi's Jahangirpuri, orders ‘status quo’

Supreme Court halts NDMC demolition drive in Delhi's Jahangirpuri, orders ‘status quo’

The NDMC bulldozers had earlier arrived in Delhi’s violence-hit Jahangirpuri locality and began removing illegal constructions in the area.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday halted the anti-encroachment drive being carried out by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) bulldozers in the violence-hit Jahangirpuri locality and ordered the civic body to maintain a “status quo,” reported ANI.

The top court passed the order while responding to a plea filed by Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind which challenged the NDMC demolition drive in Jahangirpuri. The order was passed by a bench led by the Chief Justice of India in response to a submission made by senior advocate Dushyant Dave.

Minutes later, responding to the top court order, Mayor of North Delhi Municipal Corporation Raja Iqbal Singh said, “We will follow the SC order & take action accordingly.

"We have stopped our work (anti-encroachment drive in Jahangirpuri)," the NDMC Mayor added. Sanjay Goel, Commissioner, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, also said, "We just got to know about the SC order on the anti-encroachment drive in the Jahangirpuri area. We will read the order first & act accordingly."

Commenting on the NDMC drive, senior CPI-M leader Brinda Karat said, "Demolition drive has been stopped. I appeal to the people of Jahangirpur to maintain peace & harmony & wait for SC's next order. Demolition was against the Constitution. Special CP assured me that no demolition will take place in accordance with the SC order."

However, Delhi BJP spokesperson Khemchand Sharma hit back saying, the NDMC has not yet received the SC order and the demolition is as per law.

Sharma had earlier thanked Union Home Minister Amit Shah for ordering the NDMC to carry out drive against illegal encroachments in the Jahangirpuri locality.

Supreme Court halts NDMC demolition drive in Delhi's Jahangirpuri, orders ‘status quo’
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The NDMC bulldozers had earlier arrived in Delhi’s violence-hit Jahangirpuri locality and began removing illegal constructions in the area. There was a heavy police and paramilitary forces deployment in Jahangirpuri ahead of today’s anti-encroachment drive in the area, even as the local mayor called it a ‘routine exercise.’

The drive began a day after Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta wrote to the party-ruled North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to identify illegal constructions of ‘rioters’ in Jahangirpuri and demolish them using bulldozers.

“Our JCBs (excavators) and staff will go to Jahangirpuri to remove illegal encroachment from roads and government land. It is our routine exercise. We will execute it and return,” NDMC Mayor Raja Iqbal Singh said earlier this morning.

Officials said security forces were also carrying out a flag march in the area and took stock of the situation before the drive was launched. 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, they said. The NDMC had on Tuesday requested the Delhi Police to provide at least 400 security personnel to maintain law and order during the two-day drive.

The area witnessed violent clashes, including stone-pelting, arson and firing, between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on Saturday. Eight police personnel and a local resident had sustained injuries.

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