“The phrase bulldozer action has entered the common lexicon these days. Just few weeks ago, 4-5 bulldozers rolled into Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area and Demolished the alleged “”illegal encroachment””. No prior notice was given, no time given to residents to evacuate, and several shops, handcarts and settlements of street vendors were destroyed in the action. There were claims that those who had the documentation even their establishments bore the brunt of “”Bulldozer Action””. This bulldozer action was carried out by North Delhi Municipal Corporation. Today, another municipal corporation in Delhi tried to follow the same playbook but rather unsuccessfully.
Bulldozers today rolled into Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh, the heart of citizenship law protests. The drive by south Delhi’s BJP-controlled civic body started amid heavy police presence. As a bulldozer arrived at a busy market around 10.15 am, supporters of the Congress sat in front of the machine in protest, blocking its way. Local residents of the area also gathered around to protest. Soon, AAP’s Okhla MLA Amanatullah Khan arrived at the spot. Mr Khan said he had got all illegal structures removed already and none were left. The bulldozer was about to remove a scaffolding set up for the painting of a building when Mr Khan intervened. He spoke to representatives of the local market association in the presence of police and had a temporary structure removed. The bulldozer returned soon after. Shaheen Bagh famously became the epicentre of the nationwide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in 2019-2020. Activists and opposition parties allege that the anti-encroachment drive is aimed at targeting a community. CPIm had also filed a petition regarding this in the supreme court, however, the court refused to intervene in the matter and asked the political party to approach the High Court.
Meanwhile, our reporter on the ground Swarna Jha spoke to the people locals on the ground.
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