At least 14 officials, including an ACP, were injured after clashes broke out in West Delhi's Mayapuri on Saturday, 13 April, in the midst of a sealing drive.
The sealing drive comes after an National Green Tribunal order on Thursday, 11 April, questioned the Delhi government’s failure to curb pollution emanating from factories in Mayapuri.
Videos from the incident have also emerged, showing residents clashing with police and paramilitary forces deployed in the area. Mayapuri falls under south zone of the South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC).
BJP vs AAP
The mayor of BJP-led South Delhi Municipal Corporation Saturday slammed the AAP government and said he has written to the Lt Governor and the chief secretary in this regard.
Mayor Narender Chawla also said he has issued orders to the commissioner so that "no employee of the SDMC participates or assists in the sealing process".
“Today, I also wrote to L-G (Anil Baijal) and the chief secretary over this issue. What happened today was unfortunate,” Chawla said, while alleging that the move was made keeping in mind the Lok Sabha polls nomination filing dates in mind”
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reacted to the violence, saying that if Delhi was a full state, he would have stopped the sealing in 24 hours. “In the 5 years, the BJP government at the Centre has badly affected the Delhi businessmen,” he tweeted. He also urged people to remember every blow when they went to vote.
अगर दिल्ली पूर्ण राज्य होती तो हम 24 घंटे में सीलिंग रुकवा देते।5 साल में केंद्र की भाजपा सरकार ने दिल्ली व्यापारियों पर ख़ूब ज़ुल्म ढाए हैं— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 13, 2019
मेरी दिल्ली के व्यापारियों से अपील- वोट डालने जाओ तो एक एक लाठी का बदला लेना। इस बार झाड़ू को वोट देना ताकि भविष्य में सीलिंग ना हो सके https://t.co/xgOUMQYfC5
In another tweet, he lamented that the traders had always supported the BJP with money and votes, but in return, the BJP sealed their shops and beat them with sticks.
अपने ही व्यापारियों को इस तरह पीटना बेहद शर्मनाक है— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 13, 2019
व्यापारियों ने हमेशा धन और वोट से भाजपा का साथ दिया। बदले में भाजपा ने उनकी दुकानें सील की और उनको लाठियों से पीटा। चुनाव में भी व्यापारियों पर इतना बर्बर लाठी चार्ज? भाजपा साफ़ कह रही है- नहीं चाहिए भाजपा को व्यापारियों का साथ https://t.co/irVwvymdX8
Centre Bypassed Delhi Govt in Mayapuri Sealing Drive: Sisodia
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Sunday accused the Centre of bypassing the Delhi government in conducting a sealing operation in Mayapuri.
Sisodia lashed out at Union Housing and Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri for blaming the Aam Aadmi Party government for the violence in West Delhi, saying the responsibility of land allocation was with the Centre.
"“Delhi police is yours, SDM is yours, NGT is yours, DDA is yours and we are blamed. They should have some shame and take accountability for their actions.”" - Manish Sisodia told reporters.
"Delhi government ministers were not involved in this decision. They were bypassed by the LG (Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal)," the deputy chief minister added.
Sisodia said if the DDA was brought under the purview of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, then they would "get the land allocated to these traders in two days".
Violence, Stone Pelting
In one video, shared by The Times of India reporter Raj Shekhar Jha, police and paramilitary personnel can be seen running in a large group, chased by a large mob which is pelting stones and hurling abuses at them.
In another video, a group of people can be seen surrounding and beating up a lone jawan on the roads. They kick him and hit him before somebody comes to his rescue and drive them away, taking him to safety.
However, in another video, the forces deployed are also seen attacking a number of Sikh men, with one jawan kicking a man and another attacking another man with a brick. Some men in the video who are making the video can be heard telling the men outside being attacked to run and come from a different gate since that one is locked.
This video was shared on Twitter by a Nagendar Sharma.
The same video, taken from a slightly different angle, was also shared by Amit Mishra, a member of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
"#GeneralDyreModi attacked Sikh & Punjabi traders in Mayapuri, West Delhi on a Baishakhi Day", his tweet read, in a reference to the Jallianwala Bagh massacre that had taken place in Amritsar a 100 years ago on 13 April, 1919.
AAP MLA Jagdeep Singh also shared the video and referred to Jallianwala Bagh in his tweet. “Baisakhi wale din modi police ne maya puri ko jaliyawala bagh bna diya”, he tweeted. (Translation: On the day of Baisakhi, Modi police have made Mayapuri into Jallianwala Bagh.)
In another video, multiple police can be seen standing around toppled two-wheelers.
NGT Ordered Sealing of 850 Factories in Mayapuri
The NGT had ordered the sealing of 850 factories spreading pollution in Mayapuri area. The NGT had come down heavily on the Delhi government and Delhi Pollution Control Committee for failing to curb pollution from scrap unites in Mayapuri, reported The Hindu.
“Acknowledged failure of governance in Delhi as the Delhi government has expressed helplessness in carrying out its duties of enforcing the directions of this tribunal and complying with the undertaking. Even the performance guarantee required has not been furnished. The officers identified as accountable has not been proceeded against,” the Bench had observed.
On Saturday, a notice was issued by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and a team reached Mayapuri Kabadi market, to begin the sealing drive, ANI reported.
According to officials in the MCD, about six factories had been sealed. But when the MCD officials tried to proceed, the workers of the factories rushed to attack them and the police forces.
The crowd chased the MCD and the police forces and threw rocks at them, in which about four policemen were injured.
After this, ITBP personnel lathi-charged the crowd and brought the situation under control.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI and The Hindu)
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