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Officials injured in 'stone pelting' during sealing drive in Mayapuri; Kejriwal says locals beaten

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Around 14 officials, including an ACP, were injured after clashes broke out between security personnel and local scrap dealers during a sealing drive in west Delhi's area Saturday, leading to a political slugfest between the ruling and the BJP.

The (AAP) shared a video on purportedly showing security personnel resorting to stone pelting, which Minister dubbed as "extremely shameful".

"It is extremely shameful that the citizens are being treated in this manner by the Centre. The community has always supported the BJP with money as well as with votes. But in return, the Centre-led police brutally beat up the traders sending a clear message that they do not want the community's support in the upcoming polls," the minister tweeted.

Congress also "condemned" the use of force by police and blamed the Centre and BJP-led civic bodies for sealing.

for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep said the violence was due to the "failure" of the and that the (NGT) order to seal the polluting units in came only after the dispensation's "inaction" in relocating the scrap industry.

On Saturday morning, a sealing drive was started by the (SDM), Cantonment, along with the staff of the South Municipal Corporation (SDMC) and the Committee (DPCC) in the scrap market in pursuance of the NGT order, a senior police said.

"Some scrap dealers started protesting against the sealing. They got violent and resorted to stone pelting. Security personnel retaliated with baton-charge but did not pelt stones on the protestors," the police added.

The sealing drive came after the NGT slammed the Thursday for not acting against illegal scrap industries in Mayapuri that cause pollution.

A bench headed by NGT Justice had directed the and member secretary, Delhi Committee, to respond why they should not be jailed and prosecuted if illegal activities were not stopped and people kept suffering on account of illegal activities.

The green panel has also ordered the officials to appear before it on May 3 with a compliance report.

"Sealing drive was carried out following the directions of the NGT," a senior of the said.

Police said 14 officials -- the SDM, an ACP, three DPCC employees and nine police personnel, including those of the -- in the incident and had to be taken to a hospital.

On the ground, the situation remained tense.

Several scrap dealers said the sealing was started without giving prior intimation to the traders. A number of scrap dealers even gathered outside the station.

"The NGT has given a blanket order without distinguishing between polluting units and scrap dealers. Of the notices given to 812 units, only 30 units lead to pollution," a said, requesting anonymity.

Another said the order was passed by the NGT without doing a proper survey of units leading to pollution.

A third said the sealing was conducted while traders were performing a puja on the account of 'navratra' which irked a few of them.

One of the largest scrap markets of Asia, Mayauri, located between the and west Delhi's Hari Nagar, has more than 2,000 small and big units.

The incident also gave ammo to the ahead of the Lok Sabha polls scheduled in the national capital on May 12.

Terming the incident as "horrific", the hit out at the Centre by drawing a comparison with the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre, whose centenary is being observed on Saturday.

The Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place in during the festival on April 13, 1919, when troops of the under the command of opened fire at a crowd of people holding a pro-independence demonstration, leaving several dead and scores injured.

"Horrifying!!! brutally pelting stones on the citizens in Mayapuri, Delhi," the AAP tweeted Saturday and shared a video clip purportedly showing the incident.

Puri said Kejriwal bears the entire responsibility of the violence as his government did not come up with a proper rehabilitation plan for Mayapuri's scrap units. On Kejriwal blaming the Centre for the incident, Puri said, "The was a lair.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, April 13 2019. 22:46 IST