Hundreds block Delhi’s Jungpura flyover after DDA demolishes mosque

via published on January 12, 2011

 NEW DELHI: A mob has blocked the Jangpura flyover pelting stones and damaging cars, after the DDA demolished a mosque in the area on Wednesday morning.

Thousands of cars are stranded on the flyover near Nizamuddin with no traffic police to manage the mob. The protesters are threatening to set cars on fire if anyone dares to cross the barrier.

Earlier in the day, the police lobbed teargas shells and used batons to disperse a large number of people protesting the demolition of the mosque which was built on government land.

The demolition was carried out by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in south-east Delhi’s Jangpura-B Block area at around 6am amidst heavy police presence.

Police lobbed teargas shells and used batons to disperse the protesters, who tried to enter the site of the demolished structure and offer prayers.

“A large number of people gathered in front of the Hazrat Nizamuddin police station and marched towards the demolition spot. They were prevented from entering the spot.

“They broke the barricades and tried to reach there. We had to hurl teargas shells and use some force,” a senior police official said.

The protestors included Jangpura MLA Tarvinder Singh Marwah claimed that he was also among a few demonstrators who suffered injuries in the incident.

Later the protesters marched towards the police station where Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid, and LJP MLA Shoib Iqbal addressed them.

According to Mangej Singh, Deputy Director (DDA), the religious structure was built illegally on DDA land and was demolished after a committee approved it.

“A slum and this structure had come up in the DDA land. We had cleared the slums earlier but did not touch the structure as we needed a clearance from the committee looking into demolition of such structures,” Singh said.

Protesters blocked Mathura Road at Hazrat Nizamuddin crossing which led to huge traffic pile-up at Ashram Chowk as well as near Hotel Oberoi. Later, traffic was diverted easing the traffic jam.

Bukhari claimed that the religious structure was built on Wakf land and not on DDA land.

Passengers headed to Nizamuddin railway station were a harrowed lot as protesters and police did not allow any vehicle on the route.

“We didn’t want any fight with anyone but wanted to offer our prayers at the site,” Wasif Khan, a resident of Nizamuddin, said.

Residents had to face movement restrictions due to police barricades placed in the area.

Some protesters took out their anger on a cameraman who was walking beside the protest march, hitting him and trying to snatch his camera.

The Shahi Imam of Fatehpuri Masjid Maulana Mufti M Mukarram Ahmed condemned the demolition and demanded that the structure be rebuilt.

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