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Delhi Violence: Supreme Court halts MCD’s demolition drive in violence-hit Jahangirpuri, to hear matter tomorrow

The drive was undertaken a day after Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta wrote to the NDMC to identify illegal constructions of “rioters” in Jahangirpuri and demolish them using bulldozers.

The drive was undertaken a day after Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta wrote to the NDMC to identify illegal constructions of "rioters" in Jahangirpuri and demolish them using bulldozers.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered status quo on the anti-encroachment drive carried out by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) in city’s Jahangirpuri area, which was hit by communal violence last Saturday. 

A bench led by the Chief Justice of India N V Ramana ordered status quo on a mentioning made by senior advocate Dushyant Dave. The court said it will hear the matter on Thursday. 

Dave mentioned a petition against the special joint encroachment removal action of civic bodies including the NDMC and the PWD, and said “a completely unauthorised and unconstitutional demolition” has been ordered. He alleged that the demolition, which was to start at 2 pm on Wednesday, has begun at 9 am and no mandatory notice for demolition has been served on the alleged violators.

The plea has been filed by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind against the alleged actions taken by the authorities in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat against accused. The plea seeks a declaration by the top court that the properties of the accused cannot be demolished as a punitive measure.

The order from the top court came shortly after the NDMC officials began with the anti-encroachment drive in Jahangirpuri, and started razing structures amid heavy police presence to avoid any law and order situation.

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court also agreed to hear pleas against the NDMC’s anti-encroachment drive, but refused to interfere in the matter.

The drive was undertaken a day after Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta wrote to the party-ruled North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to identify illegal constructions of “rioters” in Jahangirpuri and demolish them using bulldozers.

The NDMC had on Tuesday requested the Delhi Police to provide at least 400 security personnel to maintain law and order during the two-day drive.

The area witnessed violent clashes, including stone pelting, arson and firing, between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on Saturday. Eight police personnel and a local resident had sustained injuries.

A total of 25 people, including three juveniles, have been arrested so far in connection with the violence. The stringent National Security Act (NSA) has been slapped against five of the accused.

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