Explained: Why Shaheen Bagh anti-encroachment drive is raising a row
New Delhi, May 09: Anger, fury, frustration and some high voltage drama reported from Shaheen Bagh as the south Delhi's BJP-controlled civic body started its anti-encroachment drive in the locality that was the centre of the anti-CAA stir a few years ago.
As a bulldozer rolled in, protests erupted in Shaheen Bagh with hundreds of people, including women, opposing the SDMC's anti-encroachment drive as bulldozers rolled into the area in presence of heavy police personnel.
Is Shaheen Bagh anti-encroachment drive communally instigated?
Leaders from the Aam Aadmi Party and Congress also joined people and staged dharna against the action.
AAP leader, Amanatullah Khan, is protesting the encroachment drive in Shaheen Bagh.
"People have already removed encroachments on my request. 'Wazu khana' & toilets outside a mosque here were removed in presence of police,earlier. When there are no encroachments, why have they come here? Just to do politics," the AAP leader said.
He claims that the MCD are trying to communalise the issue by targeting Shaheen Bagh.
No illegal encroachment, say locals
The locals in Shaheen Bagh in Delhi staged a protest in the wake of the civic body South Delhi Municipal Corporation waiting to start the anti-encroachment drive amid huge resistance.
"We have gathered here to stop the bulldozers. If the government is talking about encroachment, were they not able to see the encroachment for 15 years? Why the MCD and government sleeping for ao many years. There is no illegal encroachment here. Now when MCD tenure is ending, they call it an encroachment drive," said a local.
Shaheen Bagh centre of CAA protest
In December 2019, Shaheen Bagh was the centre of protests and sit-ins against Citizenship (Amendment) Act. The sit-in was called off in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic had struck the city.
Delhi municipal authorities had come under fire from several civil rights groups and Opposition parties after it bulldozed structures in the Jahangirpuri area in an anti-encroachment drive. It was stopped following the Supreme Court's intervention.
The BJP-ruled South Delhi Municipal Corporation on Wednesday launched an anti-encroachment drive as part of a 10-day action plan to remove illegal structures from areas within its jurisdiction including Shaheen Bagh, the venue of gathering for the protracted anti-CAA protests in 2019.
The drive, in which bulldozers were also being used, began from Karni Singh Shooting Range on MB Road in Sangam Vihar area, and will continue till May 13 in different localities.
On May 10, the drive will be conducted near Gurudwara Road near New Friends Colony. On May 11, it will be conducted in Meharchand Market, Lodhi Colony near Sai Baba Mandir and near JLN Metro station.