Delhi Police used water cannons on Monday to disperse a crowd of protesters with India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after they tried to cut water access to the local water chief’s house as part of a protest over the city’s “poor” water supply.
BJP members had sought to disconnect the water supply of Delhi health minister Satyendra Jain’s house, with the minister also heading the Delhi Jal Board (DJB), which oversees the local water supply in India’s capital.
Mr Jain is also a member of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which governs Delhi, and has been a political rival of the BJP since the party to came power in the city.
Earlier, the protesting politicians and workers of the BJP had gathered in front of the civic body’s office on Monday and staged a day long-protest alleging that people in the city were facing a crisis due to the “poor” water supply.
“People in Delhi are craving for each drop of water. The ministers of the Kejriwal government will realise the problems being faced by the people when their water supply is cut off,” Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta was quoted by Indian media as saying.
However, the AAP has alleged that the neighbouring Haryana state, which is ruled by BJP, isn’t providing the capital its share of water, with Monday’s events unfolding a day after AAP workers allegedly damaged the water connection to Mr Gupta’s residence in Patel Nagar.
The issue of Delhi’s government’s claims of neighbouring Haryana withholding part of Delhi’s share of water is now in India’s top court.
When the protestors reached Mr Jain’s residence to cut off the connection on Monday, Delhi police in return used water cannons to disperse the crowd.
“We used a JCB machine to remove the waterline outside Jain’s residence. We will cut the water connection to Kejriwal [Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal ]’s residence, too, if the Delhi government fails to resolve the water crisis being faced by the people in the next two days,” Delhi BJP media head Navin Kumar was quoted by Indian media outlets as saying.
Mr Kumar said police had used water cannons against demonstrators and detained several men during the demonstration.