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Delhi: Church demolition sparks political row, and a whodunit

The demolition of a church in South Delhi’s Chhatarpur on Monday snowballed right into a political row with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was in Goa Wednesday, saying he was instructed the motion was ordered by the Delhi Growth Authority, which comes below the Centre. The DDA, although, denied having something to do with the demolition.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who was in Delhi, had known as the demolition “surprising”.

The Little Flower Syro Malabar Church was situated in Dr Ambedkar Colony close to Andheria Mod in Chhatarpur, and was working from a short lived construction, stated Father Jose, the parish priest.

Talking on the Panjim Conference Centre, Kejriwal stated: “I’m instructed, firstly, it was finished by DDA. DDA comes below the central authorities. Delhi authorities has no management over it. DDA maybe went to the Excessive Court docket. Excessive Court docket gave an order and DDA has taken that motion. Our native MLAs are concerned with the church. Our Chhatarpur MLA Tanwarji is with them, with the church. We are going to present no matter assist they want.”

Within the capital Pinarayi had stated Tuesday: “Church buildings are used as locations of worship and a tense state of affairs shouldn’t have occurred at such a spot of worship. The Kerala authorities has limitations in intervening within the challenge. Nonetheless, the federal government would discover what might be finished.”

Senior DDA officers denied that the demolition was carried out by them or on their advice. “Our workforce has not taken any such motion,” a senior official stated.

The present trigger discover to the “encroachers” was issued by the Block Growth Officer, South Delhi district, which comes below the Delhi authorities’s income division.

The discover, dated July 7, stated that an encroachment on gram sabha land was noticed by the realm Panchayat Secretary. Gram sabha land, the discover stated, is supposed for public utility and has not been allotted to anyone. It gave the occupants three days to take away the construction, failing which motion will likely be taken.

The discover additionally stated that that they had obtained a letter from the Residence Police-II Division, GNCT of Delhi, dated March 3, which referred to a 2015 Excessive Court docket interim order on demolishing encroachments.

Father Jose alleged that the demolition was carried out with out giving them any info. “There was no dialogue, they got here with none prior info. I used to be right here when it occurred. The whole lot has been demolished, statues damaged, devices used for prayers, church information, sound techniques have all been broken. The altar remains to be there however we can not use it anymore. It was not even a concrete construction, solely a short lived shed. It existed for 14-15 years,” he stated.

“There may be one other church, a masjid and a temple close by, they’re all unhurt,” he stated.

Ankita Chakravarti, the South Delhi District Justice of the Peace, had additionally stated in an official assertion earlier that the demolition train was carried out after receiving a letter from the Residence Police-II Division, the place they cited a Excessive Court docket order from 2015 on demolishing encroachments.

“The encroachers approached NHRC from the place the matter was transferred to the non secular committee. Thereafter, a letter was obtained from the Residence Police-II Division dated 03/03/2021 the place they cited the HC order of 2015… whereby it was directed to demolish all the development above the bottom ground in addition to parts of the bottom the place idols should not put in/positioned with out ready for the choice of the Spiritual Committee,” she stated.

“The notices have been duly served to the encroachers and eventually the demolition was efficiently carried out,” she stated.

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