The Delhi Police on Thursday arrested Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan who was among those who protested against a demolition drive carried out by the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled South Delhi Municipal Corporation in Delhi’s Madanpur Khadar on Thursday, reported ANI.
On Thursday morning, he had been detained after protestors shouted slogans against the civic body and the Centre, demanding to stop the demolition drive.
Bulldozers were seen trying to demolish a six-storey building in the area, according to NDTV. Labourers were seen breaking the building’s walls from the inside.
The police warned protestors of strict action to stop demonstrations, NDTV reported. They were seen baton-charging the protestors as well. Opposition parties have said that the anti-encroachment drive is politically motivated because Bharatiya Janata Party’s civic body term ends on May 18.
Khan was also named in the first information report filed against him for allegedly obstructing the demolition drive in Shaheen Bagh on May 9.
Notably, the complaint by the civic body came hours after the BJP’s Delhi unit chief Adesh Gupta wrote a letter to the South Delhi mayor asking him to call a case against Khan.
Protestors had sat on roads in Shaheen Bagh to stop the bulldozers. The exercise was soon halted amid the protest.
Meanwhile, another demolition drive took place in the Prem Nagar on Thursday, ANI reported.
Demolition drives in Delhi
The Municipal Corporation of Delhi 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 May 9, 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.
On May 11, the South Delhi Municipal Corporation carried out demolition drives in the city’s Najafgarh, Dwarka and Lodhi Colony, PTI reported. Civic authorities and police faced strong objection from residents and members of the Opposition parties.
Shveta Saini, the chairperson of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation West Zone, said that a drive was also carried out in Janakpuri and Chaukhandi. Some residents of Janakpuri protested against the drive, she said.
on May 13, the drive will be conducted in the Khadda colony area.