The Supreme Court on Wednesday stalled the anti-encroachment drive by authorities in the violence-hit Jahangirpuri area of the national capital after taking note of a plea of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind that buildings of Muslim riot-accused are being razed.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana, which ordered maintaining of status quo concerning the demolition of buildings in the forenoon, intervened again during the day after it was apprised that the authorities were not stopping on the ground that no official communication has been received by them.
Taking note of the submissions of senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for the Muslim body, the bench, also comprising Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli, directed the apex court Secretary-General to convey its morning order to stop demolition to the NDMC (North Delhi Municipal Corporation) mayor, commissioner and the Delhi police commissioner immediately.
Meanwhile, North Delhi Municipal Corporation Mayor Raja Iqbal Singh has insisted that the demolition drive was not confined to the riot-accused in Jahangirpuri.
"We want to tell the people of the whole of Delhi, wherever there is any illegal encroachment, please remove them yourself. Iske baad unhi logon ka number hai (it will be their turn next) After this, it is their turn," Singh told NDTV.
Singh also claimed that only temporary structures were removed during the demolition drive.
"The roads will be cleared and people are happy. It is routine work with no agenda. People are very happy, people are supporting us," he added.
Jahangirpuri in north Delhi had witnessed violent clashes, including stone-pelting, arson, and firing, between two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on Saturday. Eight police personnel and a local resident had sustained injuries.
Also, today's demolition drive came in the wake of recent actions taken by authorities in Madhya Pradesh to use bulldozers to raze properties of those accused of rioting during the Ram Navami celebrations.
(With PTI inputs)