STATESMAN NEWS SERVICE
New Delhi, 11 March
A day after large parts of Delhi were brought to a staggering halt due to a planned protest held by Anjuman-e-Haidri (AeH), Maulana Kalbe Jawad, General Secretary of Majlis Ulema-e-Hind alleged Delhi police of sabotaging an attempt to meet Congress Party chief Sonia Gandhi regarding the Karbala land dispute of south Delhi’s Jor Bagh area. While the Maulana threatened a nation-wide agitation, members of AeH revealed that they will again attempt to ‘meet’ Mrs Gandhi on 31 March.
"Delhi police is taking orders from Ahmad Patel and the Congress party. Previously we were taken to Parliament street police station and kept there for the whole night in order to intimidate us," alleged Maulana Kalbe Jawad in a press conference.
He added, "We had planned to meet Sonia Gandhi regarding this grave issue and wanted to carry out this meeting peacefully. However, authorities including police force shut down metro stations and blocked the National Highway so that we don’t reach the venue in time".
AeH maintains that Ahmad Patel, political secretary to Sonia Gandhi, is one of the partners of the nursery licensee Wasim Khan. AeH in the past has filed several cases against Khan whom they claim is just a ‘gardner’ and wants to encroach the land which belongs to Waqf board.
The Sha-e-Mardan shrine and the Karbala land which is adjacent to the nursery houses several graves which the Shia community says have been allegedly encroached by Khan who in return denies all the charges.
"The courts have not told us to vacate the land but some people are hell bent to take it by force," said Khan.
The nursery as well, is claimed by AeH and currently continues to be garrisoned with one company of both police force and Rapid Action Force. Several platoons comprising of women constables are also stationed in the area as well as riot control vehicles which have been keeping guard.
A senior police official denied all the allegations leveled at the Delhi police. "There is a Model Code of Conduct in place, besides protests can pose a genuine threat to law and order situation in the city. We did what was required," the official said.
In Ghazipur, police tried to stop protestors from joining the demonstration who in return decided to hold the protest there itself. In the ensuing commotion few vehicles were set ablaze in the Ghazipur area. Police had detained few of the protestors but let them off within hours, however an FIR has been filed against unknown people allegedly in rioting, unlawful assembly and destruction of public property. On Monday at 3.20 pm, two metro stations ~ Jor Bagh and INA ~ closest to Karbala, were shut down for three hours.