Chandni Chowk Demolition Row Of A 'piao' Reaches Punjab

By: Natasha Mahesh, 2016-04-09 05:15:00.0Category:  Issues & Concerns
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Municipality workers demolished a ‘piao’ (drinking water kiosk) in Chandni Chowk, leading to members of the Sikh community protesting against the encroachment demolition drive. The drive was by the Delhi high court. But the kiosk near the historic Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib in Chadni Chowk was reconstructed overnight, violating court orders. Offended at the reconstruction of a ‘piao’ (drinking water kiosk) in Chandni Chowk, the Delhi High Court on Friday took strong exception to the tendency of people taking law into their hands and challenging the dignity of courts by disregarding orders. The court has also sought the administration’s support to deal with the situation. A Division Bench comprising Justice S. Muralidhar and Justice Vibhu Bakhru said it expected compliance with its order passed on Thursday directing immediate removal of the structure and round-the-clock police presence in the area. 

The AAP and the BJP had trade charges over the demolition of a piao  of the Gurdwara Sis Ganj at Chandni Chowk Friday, with the issue likely to assume importance in the run-up to the assembly polls in Punjab, scheduled to be held early next year. Attacking AAP over the issue, Union minister and Punjab BJP president Vijay Sampla said, “AAP MLA Alka Lamba was part of the meeting and she was part of the plan. This shows the AAP’s perspective. Causing friction between communities is what AAP does and the Sis Ganj incident is proof of that.” Furthermore, the BJP national secretary R P Singh said that he incident had “exposed” AAP. “Every media house in Punjab reported the demolition and that it was done with the approval of Alka Lamba and the direction of the Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC),” said Singh. The BJP leader said the North corporation has given an affidavit in court, asking to be exempted from demolition drive. “The submission stated that the road falls under the jurisdiction of the PWD, so the North corporation should be exempted from the drive,” said Singh. On the other hand, the AAP maintained that it had no role in the demolition. Jarnail Singh of Rajouri Garden, Jarnail Singh of Tilak Nagar, Jagdeep Singh of Hari Nagar and Avtar Singh of Kalkaji who are Sikh legislators of the party told reporters that the government had asked the High Court not to disturb the “piao” as it was used for social service and had no commercial purpose. The legislators said, “The party strongly condemns the deliberate misinformation campaign by vested interests about the demolition ordered by the Delhi High Court in Chandni Chowk area. Despite the fact that the High Court had ordered the North Delhi Municipal Corporation to carry out these demolitions, the name of Delhi government was wrongly and unnecessarily dragged into this issue.” In an official statement, the party said, “The matter was heard in the High Court on Friday, where the Delhi government firmly placed its stand that though it has no role in the matter… the piao near the Gurdwara, which was catering to water demands of a large number of people, should be retained there.” But the High Court did not accept this and reiterated its demolition order to continue.  The court also ordered that two Gurdwara Management Committee office-bearers, Manjeet Singh G.K. and Manjinder Singh Sirsa, who were issued contempt notices for reconstruction of ‘piao’, would not go anywhere near the structure. The Delhi Police informed the court that there was round-the-clock vigil at the site and no one was allowed to use the ‘piao’.

Image source: Indian Express

Cover photo: Hindustan Times


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