Residents of Shaheen Bagh area in South Delhi staged a protest as the anti-encroachment drive has been launched by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation with the help of Delhi Police personnel on Monday.
Locals sat on roads and stopped bulldozers that were brought for the demolition drive. Owners of some shops, where bulldozers were headed, were seen removing the scaffoldings for construction voluntarily.
Amanatullah Khan, a legislator of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) joined the protest. Khan said there were no encroachments in the area and bulldozers were brought only to indulge in politics, a report of Hindustan Times said.
The civic body's similar proposed drives in the Kalindi Kunj-Jamia Nagar area near Shaheen Bagh and in Sriniwaspuri were cancelled on earlier occasions due to the unavailability of an adequate police force. According to available reports, the main GD Birla Marg near Shaheen Bagh was currently choked and traffic movement was halted.
The SDMC has reportedly prepared a 10-day action plan to remove encroachment from several areas, including Shaheen Bagh. Shaheen Bagh had become one of the most prominent spots of the nationwide against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) two years ago.
The chairman of the SDMC's standing committee (central zone), Rajpal, said the municipality will do its work and encroachments would be removed from wherever they were.
“Our workers and officials are ready. Teams and bulldozers have been organised. Encroachments will be removed wherever they are -- be it in Tughlakabad, Sangam Vihar, New Friends Colony or Shaheen Bagh,” Rajpal was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
The North Delhi Municipal Corporation 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. The operation was stopped following the Supreme Court's intervention.