'Programme Organised by Terrorists': Delhi Police Allegedly Cancels Event on 'Bulldozer Politics'

At least 12 parties and organisations, including SDPI, NDPI and Majdoor Ekta Kendra, were expected to participate in the event at the Gandhi Peace Foundation on May 9.

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New Delhi: The Delhi Police allegedly cancelled an event focusing on communal politics and the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Delhi municipal corporations’ continued demolition drives scheduled for May 9.

The event, ‘Communal Politics and Bulldozer Raj’, was being organised by the Gandhi Peace Foundation and expected to see the participation of at least 12 parties and organisations, including Social Democratic Party of India, National Democratic Party (Indian) and Majdoor Ekta Kendra.

It was scheduled to take place between 6pm and 8pm at the Gandhi Peace Foundation auditorium on Monday.

However, on Monday, the Delhi Police visited the premises and allegedly refused permission to the Foundation to conduct the event.

Birju Nayak, secretary of the Mazdoor Ekta Committee, told The Wire that the Delhi Police allegedly pressurised the management to cancel the booking. “They [Delhi Police] especially told the management that the programme is being organised by a terrorist organisation, ‘so please cancel the event, or else we will have to seal the auditorium’.”

Therefore, the auditorium listened to police and cancelled its own Foundation’s event.

He further said that the Mazdoor Ekta Committee had organised several events at the Gandhi Peace Foundation auditorium, however, such an incident had never happened.

Talking to The Wire, Arun Manjhi, Supreme Court advocate, said, “We can see how the state is keeping a watch on the people who are conducting meetings and discussions [on the government’s communal politics]. In Jahangirpuri, it was clear that the state targeted the minority community. We have to carry forward the brotherhood which was there in the society earlier. We have to give a message to the state to not help the Hindutva forces who are trying to break communal harmony.”

“The Delhi Police told the auditorium management that they could seal the auditorium if the meeting takes place here,” he confirmed.

He added, “We have to try to save the democratic rights that are being snatched from us.”

Watch | How Yogi Perfected Bulldozer Justice – BJP’s New Weapon Against Muslims

After violence on Ram Navami in Madhya Pradesh’s Khargone on April 10, the local administration demolished several properties associated with alleged suspects – most of them allegedly owned by financially disadvantaged Muslim families.

A similar demolition drive was carried out by a Delhi civic body in Jahangipuri on April 20, days after the area saw communal violence. The civic body had razed shops and homes, mostly owned by Muslims, despite a stay order by the Supreme Court.

On May 9, the civic body carried out an “anti-encroachment drive” in the Shaheen Bagh area in Delhi, which was at the centre of anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests in late 2019 and early 2020. The drive was halted due to stiff resistance from local residents of Shaheen Bagh as hundreds of people gathered on the streets and atop buildings. However, the Supreme Court, unlike in the case of Jahangirpuri, refused to interfere or stay the exercise on a petition by the Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s Delhi unit.