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Locals protest outside temple in Delhi’s Mandawali during encroachment drive by PWD

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NEW DELHI, June 22 (PTI): A large group of people on Thursday gathered near a temple in east Delhi’s Mandawali to protest against the removal of a grill, which was part of the temple, during an encroachment drive carried out by Public Works Department (PWD) here, police said.

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The massive protest also led to traffic congestion in the area which was later brought under control, they said.

The encroachment drive was carried out by the PWD, police said, adding that the grill that was encroaching on a footpath was removed peacefully in the presence of heavy police deployment.

Deputy commissioner of police (East) Amrutha Guguloth said the encroachment drive by the PWD was scheduled to be held on Thursday.

“We were intimated about the encroachment drive by the PWD yesterday (Wednesday). The grill which surrounded the temple was encroaching upon the footpath and it was removed peacefully. We provided assistance to the PWD officials. The law and order situation is normal,” she said.

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Police said the locals who had gathered near the temple premises have now stopped the protest but are still at the spot standing on one side of the road. They chanted slogans and also participated in prayers at the temple after the encroachment drive was completed, police said.

The traffic situation is under control and the vehicular movement has resumed, they said.

Meanwhile, PWD minister Atishi said the permission for the encroachment drive was given by Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena despite opposition from the then PWD minister Manish Sisodia. Atishi took over as PWD minister after Sisodia was arrested for his alleged involvement in the Delhi excise policy case.

“The temple being demolished in Mandawali is being carried out on the orders of the Delhi LG. When the file pertaining to this issue was forwarded to the then Home Minister Manish Sisodia, he had opposed it,” Atishi told reporters here.

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“But LG sir overruled Manish Sisodia’s decision. Not just in Mandawali, he has decided to demolish 10 other temples in Delhi,” she said

Delhi LG has also said that files to demolish temples would be sent directly to him, and not the elected government, the minister said.

She also said the Aam Aadmi Party was opposed to the encroachment drives and that party workers have been at the spot in Mandawali since Wednesday evening.



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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttp://www.thehillstimes.in
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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