The Delhi Police on Tuesday detained Aam Aadmi Party MLA Mukesh Ahlawat for obstructing a demolition drive by the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled North Delhi Municipal Corporation in the Mangolpuri area, ANI reported.

Ahlawat was detained for allegedly “creating disturbance” during the demolition drive, the police said, The Indian Express reported. The police added that Ahlawat will be released once the drive ends, according to the newspaper.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Sameer Sharma said that Ahlawat had come to the spot where the demolition was being carried out and asked why bulldozers were being used, reported ANI.

“To prevent the situation from getting jeopardised, we have detained the MLA,” Sharma added.

Ahlawat expressed his opposition to the drive, saying that residents had already vacated the area.

“When people have vacated the area, why are they [North MCD] creating inconvenience to them by using bulldozers and surrounding them?” he said, according to ANI. “We are against it and it should be stopped. They need to prove first that there is an encroachment.”

Meanwhile, another demolition drive is underway in South Delhi Municipal Corporation-controlled New Friends Colony area.

“There are some barricades that have been put on the road between Gurudwara to Ashoka Park [in New Friends Colony area],” South Delhi Municipal Corporation chairperson Rajpal Singh told ANI. “This road will be cleared today.”

Demolition drives in Delhi

The Municipal Corporation of Delhi, which is governed by the Bharatiya Janata Party, has been carrying out what they describe as an “anti-encroachment” drive in several parts of the city since last month.

The civic body has so far razed structures in Jahangirpuri and Tughlakabad areas. The Jahangirpuri demolitions were carried out on April 20, just four days after the locality was hit by communal violence. The drive had continued for a few hours despite a stay order from the Supreme Court. Almost all the structures targeted were owned by Muslims.

On Monday, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation had planned to conduct a demolition drive in the Shaheen Bagh area. However, it stopped after a massive protest erupted.

In the coming days, the civic body is scheduled to conduct demolition drives in Delhi’s Lodhi Colony, Meherchand Market and around Sai Mandir near Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on May 11.

On May 12, a demolition drive will be carried out on Dhinsen Marg and Iskcon Temple Marg, and on May 13, the drive will be conducted in the Khadda colony area.