Demolition in Jahangirpuri halted after SC intervention: Key points

Violence broke out in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri on April 16 during a Hanuman Jayanti rally. Following the commotion, local administration demolished houses and shops of those accused in the communal violence.

After Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Gujarat, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation in a circular issued on April 19, announced a “Special Joint Encroachment Removal Program” following the communal violence that broke out on April 16. However, the drive was halted after the Supreme Court intervened.

Shortly after the demolition drive began, the Supreme Court ordered the operation to be halted and scheduled an urgent hearing on April 21, based on a plea.

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  • However, the drive continued despite the court order until CPM leader Brinda Karat arrived with a physical copy of the apex court’s order.
  • The residents have said that they received no notice before the demolition drive, even as a circular surfaced on social media asking for police personnel to be deployed in the area to maintain peace during the drive.
  • “Communicate the order through the Secretary-General or Registrar General immediately,” said Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, after being informed that the orders were not being followed.

A large number of bulldozers arrived in Jahangirpuri on Wednesday morning and razed a number of houses and shops of the accused rioters, amidst tight police security. The drive was ordered by Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party chief Adesh Gupta who wrote to the mayor asking him to identify and demolish houses of “rioters”.

  • Security has been heightened since the communal violence broke out in the area on Saturday during the Hanuman Jayanti procession. The procession was carried out without permission wherein devotees carried firearms and crossed a mosque in the area from where the violence commenced.
  • Nine people including eight policemen were injured in the violence during which stones were pelted and shots were fired.
  • The police have arrested 25 in connection with the case, of which five have been charged under the National Security Act (NSA), allowing for persons to be detained up to one year without charges being pressed.

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