Protests Erupt Over Delhi Demolitions; AAP MLA Sent to Judicial Custody

AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan was sent to judicial custody for protesting against the anti-encroachment drive.

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Hours after being arrested by the Delhi Police for protesting against an anti-encroachment drive carried out by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) in the Madanpur Khadar area on Thursday, 12 May, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Amanatullah Khan was sent to judicial custody.

Khan and five others were arrested for "rioting and obstructing public servants in discharge of duty," the Delhi police said. The Delhi police had detained Khan earlier in the day.

Demolition drives were conducted by the SDMC on Thursday in several parts of Delhi, including the city's Khala area, Madanpur Khadar, and KN Katju Road.

"In the encroachment removal drive in the area of Madanpur khadar of PS Kalindi Kunj, Amanatullah Khan, along with five other supporters, was arrested in Case FIR No. 246/2022 U/s 186/333/353/147/148/149/153 for rioting & obstructing public servants in discharge of duty," Esha Pandey, DCP Southeast, said.

Earlier, 10 people were detained in southeast Delhi amid the demolition drives.

Incidents of stone-pelting had also taken place to protest against the drives in Madanpur Khadar.


'Not a Single Encroachment in This Area': AAP MLA

Earlier, the AAP MLA had said amid the chaos, "You said that you will remove encroachments. I am with you in this. But you are demolishing poor people's houses. There is not a single encroachment in this area," he was quoted as saying by IANS.

He also put out a tweet, saying, "Delhi Police has arrested me. They can imprison me but not my spirits."

"The lathi charge by the police on the people opposing the BJP's 'bulldozer system' is unconstitutional. We are against the anti-people policies of the BJP, I will always raise the voice of the rights of the people, no matter how many times I have to go to jail for this," Khan added.

On Thursday night, Khan's wife Shafia took to the MLA's Twitter handle and said, "My husband Amanatullah Khan, MLA from Okhla, was caught by the Delhi Police, there is no news from him for the last 4-5 hours. I am afraid that no untoward incident should happen to him, his life is in danger."


Police Lathicharge on Protesters

The police resorted to lathi charge in response to stone-pelting on police personnel and paramilitary forces.

Meanwhile, Ram Lal Solanki, one of the residents in KN Katju Road whose structure was demolished, said, "We have been residing here for the past 25 years and there was no problem. We are not Bangladeshis or Rohingyas. Decades ago we came from Rajasthan," as per IANS.

AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan was sent to judicial custody for protesting against the anti-encroachment drive.

New Delhi: Locals stage a protest during an anti-encroachment drive, at Karol Bagh in New Delhi.

(Photo: PTI)

The demolition drive concluded in KN Katju Road on Thursday after some 300 shanties were demolished.

AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan was sent to judicial custody for protesting against the anti-encroachment drive.

New Delhi: Demolished structures after an anti-encroachment drive, in New Delhi.

(Photo: PTI)

Local residents in Madanpur Khadar also accused the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led municipal corporations of corruption, claiming that they knew of the constructions in the area and allowed them to take place after taking bribes. However, they had now used bulldozers to demolish the same structures.

Residents also raised slogans against the police while they oversaw the demolitions. The police on the other hand warned the protestors of action if they continued their protest, NDTV reported.

Demolitions were also carried out against shops and a few multi-storey buildings in the city's Kanchan Kunj area amid protests by residents.

SDMC officials stated that the demolished buildings came up on public land and notices were not needed, Hindustan Times reported.

The civic body added that the structures were located on Yamuna floodplain 'O' Zone, which, according to the Master Plan Delhi-2021, can have no construction.

Zone O is spread over 8,070 hectares along the Yamuna in Delhi.

AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan was sent to judicial custody for protesting against the anti-encroachment drive.

New Delhi: Security person attempt to disperse protestors during an anti-encroachment drive, in New Delhi.

(Photo: PTI)

Hundreds of policemen were stationed there, and there were also minor tussles between them and locals, which led to a few people getting injured.

Demolition drives were also concluded on Wednesday, 11 May, in Dwarka, Lodhi Road, Najafgarh, Janakpuri, and Chaukhandi among other areas.

This comes after a demolition drive scheduled for 9 May at Delhi's Shaheen Bagh was not conducted after protests broke out in the area. Shaheen Bagh was the epicentre of anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protests in 2019-20.

A day after the ruckus in Shaheen Bagh, a drive was conducted at the New Friends Colony (NFC) and Mongolpuri areas against alleged illegal encroachments.

(With inputs from ANI, IANS and NDTV.)

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