Protests Erupt in Delhi’s Mangolpuri Area as Mosque Partially Demolished

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The MCD has yet to issue an official statement regarding specific reasons for targeting the mosque.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI – Authorities demolished part of a mosque in the Mangolpuri locality in the northwest of the national capital in the wee hours of Tuesday leading to large-scale protests in the area.

Officials of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) claim that the demolition was part of the anti-encroachment campaign being carried out in the Y Block of the Mangolpuri neighbourhood. 

The MCD officials, accompanied by local police and a paramilitary contingent, initiated the demolition drive at 6 a.m. to clear the alleged illegal encroachment. As the operation commenced, local residents gathered and began protesting, with unconfirmed reports suggesting instances of stone-pelting aimed at police personnel. However, authorities denied these claims, asserting that the situation remained under control throughout the operation.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (outer) Jimmy Chiram addressed the situation, stating, “Some people objected to the demolition but the situation was now under control.” He further explained that the demolition was temporarily halted after partial demolition of the structure due to the robust nature of the remaining encroachment, necessitating heavier equipment.

The MCD has yet to issue an official statement regarding the incident or respond to inquiries regarding the specific reasons for targeting the mosque.

Tuesday’s incident mirrors recent actions taken by urban development authorities across India, where similar drives have been undertaken to address unauthorised constructions on public and protected lands. For instance, earlier this month, the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) cracked down on illegal layouts in Yeshwantpur area of the city, underscoring a broader effort to enforce urban planning regulations strictly.

In May, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) also conducted extensive demolition drives, demolishing 439 unauthorised constructions within its jurisdiction. Authorities have issued warnings to those involved in illegal extensions and continue to implement measures to address unauthorised structures.

The situation in Mangolpuri remains tense, with authorities closely monitoring developments amidst concerns of potential escalation. Further updates are expected as the situation unfolds.

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