New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: A massive protest erupted in Delhi's Shaheen Bagh - which was the centre of the agitation against the Citizenship Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in 2019 - on Monday after an anti-encroachment drive was launched by officials here to demolish illegal buildings.

Pictures of the protest have also gone viral on social media where the agitators - who were raising slogans against the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the central government - could be seen standing atop a JCB bulldozer. "You [BJP] have been ruling MC for the past 15 years. What happened suddenly," a protestor, as reported by news agency IANS, asked.

Shaheen Bagh falls under the central zone of BJP-ruled South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC).

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLA Amanatullah Khan also joined the protest against the anti-encroachment drive. "People have already removed encroachments on my request. 'Wazu khana' and toilets outside a mosque here were removed in presence of police, earlier. When there are no encroachments, why have they come here? Just to do politics," Khan was quoted as saying by news agency ANI

In addition to AAP, Congress workers also joined the protest and questioned the BJP for the anti-encroachment drive. "This is a bulldozer of hatred. It is completely unconstitutional. We will not let this demolition happen," IANS quoted a Congress leader as saying.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has also criticised the anti-encroachment drive and filed a plea at the Supreme Court. The plea will be heard at 2 pm on Monday.

The anti-encroachment drive was supposed to be held on Friday, but was postponed after the Delhi Police failed to provide adequate security forces. Later, the SDMC said it will carry out the demolition drive on Monday.

Speaking to ANI, a top SDMC official adadequate police force have been deployed in Shaheen Bagh and nearby areas to help officials with the anti-encroachment drive. The official a 10-day action plan has also been prepared to demolish all illegal building in the area.

"Municipality will do its work, our workers and officials are ready, teams and bulldozers have been organised. Encroachments will be removed wherever they are, be it in Tughlakabad, Sangam Vihar, New Friends Colony or Shaheen Bagh," Rajpal, SDMC central zone standing committee chairman, said.

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma