Jahangirpuri Demolition Drive | Mosque Gate, Shops Razed: A Timeline of Events

The anti-encroachment drive was initiated days after communal clashes broke out in Jahangirpuri on Hanuman Jayanti.

4 min read

Video Producer: Shohini Bose
Video Editor: Harpal Rawat

An anti-encroachment drive was carried out in Delhi's Jahangirpuri on the morning of Wednesday, 20 April, with the razing continuing for an hour even after the Supreme Court ordered its halting. The apex court ordered the maintenance of the status quo as regards the NDMC's encroachment drive in Jahangirpuri, Delhi, effectively staying the drive till the court can take up the matter.

The situation in North West Delhi is now peaceful, Special CP (Law and Order) Deependra Pathak told reporters.

The gate of a mosque in the violence-hit district was also demolished by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) on Wednesday. Tin roofs and alleged encroachments outside shops attached to the mosque were also demolished.

The drive was initiated days after clashes broke out in North West Delhi during a Hanuman Jayanti procession. Here's all that happened during the demolition in Jahangirpuri and how it was initiated.


Demolition Drive Continued Even After SC Order

The anti-encroachment drive had continued for over an hour after the Supreme Court's order on Wednesday.

"The anti-encroachment drive will be stopped as soon as we have received the Supreme Court order," North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) Mayor Raja Iqbal Singh had been quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Minutes earlier, after the apex court's order, Singh had said, "We have stopped our work (anti-encroachment drive in Jahangirpuri)."

Upon receiving a complaint from advocate Dushyant Dave over the continuing of the drive, Chief Justice of India NV Ramana had asked the Supreme Court Registry to communicate the status quo order to the concerned authorities immediately.

The apex court's order came after some vending carts, shops, and other allegedly illegally constructions were destroyed by bulldozers during the anti-encroachment drive.

The anti-encroachment drive will also be carried out on 21 April, a letter issued by the Office of the Assistant Commissioner, North Delhi Municipal Corporation had said on Tuesday.

Over 400 Delhi Police Personnel Were Present

Over 400 Delhi Police personnel have been deployed in Jahangirpuri, where forces of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were also stationed. Over 1,000 cops and mebers of paramilitary forces were present in the violence-hit district.

Special Commissioner of Police Dependra Pathak, who had been in Jahangirpuri when the eviction drive was continuing despite the court's order, had said, "Let the civic agency (North Delhi Municipal Corporation) take a decision... we're here to provide support and protection to the civic agency."

District Commissioner of Police (DCP) (North West) Usha Rangnani had also reached Jahangirpuri on Wednesday morning for inspection ahead of the anti-encroachment drive.

Shops That Had Been in Jahangirpuri for 20 Years, Had DDA Approval, Removed: Locals

Ganesh Kumar Gupta, a local of Delhi's Jahangirpuri, resisted and stood in front a JCB before the MCD demolished a part of his shop, Gupta Juice Corner, claimed he has been having DDA approval since 1977.

Ahead of the anti-encroachment drive, some shops on the roadsides were removed. Some of the shop owners told The Quint that they were here for over 20 years.

Ahead of the anti-encroachment drive, shops on the roadsides were removed.

(Photo: The Quint)

Recently, after communal unrest broke out during a Ram Navami procession in Madhya Pradesh's Khargone, the local administration a day later undertook a demolition drive in areas where the violence had erupted. As many as 16 houses and 29 shops were demolished by the district administration.

Delhi BJP President Demands Demolition of Constructions Belonging to Accused

Earlier on Tuesday, Delhi BJP President Adesh Gupta had asked North MCD Mayor Raja Iqbal for the identification and demolition of "illegal encroachment" and construction by those arrested in the Jahangirpuri violence.

Referring to the accused in connection with Saturday's violence who he called "anti-social elements" and "rioters", Gupta claimed that they have the support of local AAP MLA and councillor. As a result, these people have "done large-scale encroachment," the Delhi BJP president had alleged.

"Therefore, illegal encroachment done by these rioters should be identified and there should be bulldozers run over it," he added.

Later, North Delhi Mayor, Raja Iqbal Singh, confirmed the encroachment removal drive, saying that illegal construction, and encroachment on government land in Jahangirpuri will be removed on Wednesday by North MCD.

He added that to avoid any mishap in the area, "especially in the wake of recent violence, we have also demanded police force (deployment)."

25 Arrested in Connection With Jahangirpuri Violence

As many as 25 people have been arrested in connection with the violence that ensued on Saturday during a Hanuman Jayanti procession, while two juveniles have been apprehended as well, taking the total number nabbed to 27.

Nine persons, including eight police personnel and one civilian, were injured and were being treated in a hospital.

On Monday, Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana had said that action will be taken against those involved irrespective of their class, creed, or community.

Meanwhile, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday directed Delhi Police officials to take strict action against the culprits, as reported by ANI. Shah reportedly asked Delhi Police to set an example so that such incidents are not repeated.

On Tuesday, five people arrested in connection with the communal clashes were slapped with the stringent National Security Act (NSA), ANI reported, quoting government officials.

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