Bulldozers are also in Delhi

After Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat in India, bulldozers also hit Delhi, the capital of the country. Several bulldozers were deployed in the riot-hit Jahangirpuri Muslim-dominated area on Wednesday morning to remove ‘illegal installations’.

The demolition of all the ‘illegal structures’ in the local mosque area started at 9 am. At 10 am, several lawyers approached the Supreme Court. The operation continued despite Chief Justice NV Ramna’s order to suspend the vandalism. After two hours, the operation stopped at one o’clock in the afternoon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .By then, many shops and houses in the vast area had been bulldozed. The more the tension, the more the politics.

The Supreme Court will begin hearing on Thursday in a case involving the ruling BJP using bulldozers to ‘punish’ minorities in riot-hit areas. The case was filed by Jamaat-e-Ulema Hind.

BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath was the first to use bulldozers to crack down on anti-social elements. The purpose is to educate the Muslims of the state. Bulldozers are also used in riot-hit areas. This policy is especially popular with extremist Hindutva activists. The Chief Minister was named ‘Bulldozer Dad’. Madhya Pradesh BJP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan also used bulldozers after the recent riots in Ramnabami.

He introduced ‘riot tax’ in the style of ‘beating tax’ of British period. The Gujarat Chief Minister has also spoken of adhering to the bulldozer policy. After that, the BJP leaders in Delhi stepped in to give ‘proper education’ to the rioters.

Delhi BJP president Aadesh Gupta wrote a letter to the North Delhi Municipality on Tuesday asking them to use bulldozers in the Jahangirpuri area. As seen this morning, nine ‘Earth Movers’ have reached the area. With huge police force. At nine o’clock the ‘illegal installation’ began to break down. At the same time, many lawyers including Kapil Sibal and Dushmanta Dave demanded action in the Supreme Court. They allege that the municipality is conducting the operation unconstitutionally without giving any notice. An application has already been filed in the Supreme Court in this regard. Chief Justice Ramna ordered the suspension of the campaign but it continued.

Municipal authorities claim that a copy of the Supreme Court order has not reached them. CPM leaders Brinda Karat and Hannan Mollah stood in front of a bulldozer with a copy of the court order. The operation was stopped at around one o’clock when the Chief Justice’s order was conveyed to the Commissioner of Police. By then countless ‘illegal installations’ had been demolished. Hundreds of families lost their livelihood.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is in power in the capital, Delhi. But the BJP is in power in three municipalities. The Delhi Police is also under the Union Home Ministry. 400 police personnel and anti-riot forces were deployed on the occasion. It is clear that the purpose of the campaign is mainly to ‘educate’ the rioting Muslims. However, BJP leader Raja Iqbal Singh, the mayor of North Delhi municipality, said the eviction drive was long overdue. The plight of the local people is deplorable due to the forcible occupation. Traffic jams are a daily occurrence. It has nothing to do with riots.

He said the operation was to be carried out for two days on Wednesday and Thursday. The locals complained that the municipality did not give any notice to demolish the installation. No one was warned. Illegal installations abound in Delhi. But such evictions were seen only in the Muslim-inhabited areas of Jahangirpuri. This is also the first use of bulldozer or earth mover. Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia yesterday said that the houses of BJP leaders who have taken bribes for illegal installations for 15 years should be bulldozed.

A total of 25 people have been arrested after the Jahangirpuri riots. Most are Muslims. Five of them were arrested under the National Security Act. Under this law, accused persons can be detained for up to one year without trial.

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