New Delhi: Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Sunday called the Mayapuri sealing drive violence a “failure” of the Delhi government, “particularly of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal”.
“This is a failure of the Delhi government and particularly of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. He bears complete responsibility of this, including of the violence that took place during the sealing drive,” Puri told ANI.
“The issue is very straight forward, the matter is between the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the Delhi government. In 2015, the NGT instructed the Delhi government to relocate the scrap industry in Mayapuri. For four years, the Kejriwal government didn’t do anything about it,” he said.
Puri added that the pollution plan by the NGT has to be implemented by the Delhi government’s concerned department; the Centre and MCD have no role to play in this.
The statements from the Union Minister come after clashes broke out on Saturday between locals and police personnel in the Mayapuri area after MCD officials began to seal illegal factories following the NGT order.
“Because of their inaction, the tribunal got agitated and called the Chief Secretary of the Delhi government and ordered him to take immediate action. I do not want to comment on the NGT ruling because it is a court. But if it was my department, I would have told the concerned officer to tell the court that the Model Code of Conduct is in force, hence they should not take any action as of now,” Puri said.
He added, “They tried to take some action and violence broke out, there was resistance. The authorities should have given a notice first.
Puri also advised Kejriwal to work out a rehabilitation plan in consultation with the department of pollution and take it to the NGT so that the matter could be resolved amicably. “Arvind Kejriwal should realise that pollution is his subject, the air that the people of Delhi breathe is solely his responsibility,” he concluded.
Videos of the incident show protesters pelting stones and clashing with the police.
Several police personnel, including an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), were injured in the clashes, the police said.
“A sealing drive was started today by SDM Delhi Cantt along with the staff of MCD and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) in Mayapuri scrap market in pursuance of NGT orders. The local scrap dealers started protesting against the sealing and then got violent and resorted to stone pelting. 14 persons, including SDM, DPCC employees and Police personnel including an ACP rank officer have been injured. A case has been registered in the matter, ” reads a Delhi Police statement.