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After bulldozer inaction at Shaheen Bagh, FIR against AAP’s Amanatullah Khan ‘for interference’

FIR was filed based on South Delhi Municipal Corporation's complaint. Earlier, Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta had sought action against AAP & Congress leaders for 'obstructing' anti-encroachment drive. 

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New Delhi: Delhi police Monday filed an FIR against Okhla Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) and Aam Aadmi Party leader Amanatullah Khan, for allegedly interfering with an anti-encroachment drive initiated by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation in the national capital’s Shaheen Bagh area the same day. Shaheen Bagh, which had grabbed national attention owing to the prolonged protest by women in the area against the Centre’s Citizen Amendment Act (CAA) in 2019, is part of Khan’s assembly constituency.

According to police, the FIR against the MLA has been filed under sections 186 (whoever voluntarily obstructs any public servant in the discharge of his public functions), 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and was registered on the basis of a complaint made at Shaheen Bagh police station by the SDMC.

The move came hours after bulldozers deployed by the corporation for demolition of alleged illegal structures and encroachments in Shaheen Bagh, withdrew without any clearance work.

“Appropriate legal action is being taken on the complaint received from SDMC. FIR has been lodged against Amanatullah Khan and his supporters,” said DCP South East Esha Pandey.

On Monday afternoon, Delhi BJP chief Adesh Gupta wrote a letter to the Commissioner of Delhi Police and SDMC seeking an FIR against AAP and Congress leaders (who were also present at Shaheen Bagh at the time) for allegedly obstructing the anti-encroachment drive. ThePrint has a copy of the letter.

Following his complaint, SDMC Mayor Mukesh Suryan wrote to the Municipal Commissioner (SDMC, Gyanesh Bharti) to register a case against Khan and other leaders.

The SDMC complaint, a copy of which is with ThePrint, alleged, “While staff and the police personnel were present at the site for carrying out the said encroachment removal action, Amanatullah Khan, MLA (Okhla) along with his supporters present did not allow the field staff of the Central Zone, SDMC, to remove the encroachments”.

It added: “In view of the above, you are requested to take appropriate legal action against Amanatullah Khan and his supporters for interfering in the discharge of official duties by public servants.”

Also read: ‘No one listened’: Jahangirpuri residents cry after bulldozers raze ‘illegal’ shops & structures

‘Just vendetta politics’

The demolition drive in Shaheen Bagh had met with resistance from the residents, who took to the streets in protest against the deployment of bulldozers in the area. According to the residents, they had voluntarily dismantled some temporary structures — kiosks and stalls — that were there in the area.

As a bulldozer approached the scaffolding outside one of the buildings in the area, Shaheen Bagh residents insisted they would do the job themselves. Soon, 15-20 people climbed the scaffolding and took it down in full public view.

Khan, who reached the spot around noon, had claimed that there aren’t any illegal structures in the area.

“Whatever tiny shops were there, people removed them themselves. They have just got the bulldozer here to showcase their strength, nothing else,” Khan had claimed, alleging, “This is just vendetta politics”.

Speaking to ThePrint at the time, BJP councillor and SDMC Central Zone chairman Rajpal Singh had said he was “happy” that people had removed illegal structures themselves. “Our demolition drive for Monday is over. The use of bulldozers was minimal today,” he had said.

Earlier, on Saturday, Gupta had asked Delhi residents to alert authorities about “Rohingyas and Bangladeshis living illegally” in their respective localities, adding, “bulldozer action should be taken wherever these people have captured our lands illegally”.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

Also read: As bulldozers target the poor again, let’s also remember Delhi’s ‘Republic of Sainik Farms’


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