Officials conducting a sealing drive in Delhi's Mayapuri area on Saturday sustained injuries when local scrap dealers allegedly pelted stones at them even as Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed that it was the Delhi Police that beat up locals in the area and called it an "extremely shameful" action.
Terming the incident as "horrific", the AAP hit out at the Centre by drawing a comparison with the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre, whose centenary is being observed on Saturday. The Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place in Amritsar during the Baisakhi festival on April 13, 1919, when troops of the British Indian Army under the command of Colonel Reginald Dyer opened fire at a crowd of people holding a pro-independence demonstration, leaving several dead and scores injured.
"Horrifying!!! General Dyer Modi's police brutally pelting stones on the citizens in Mayapuri, Delhi," the AAP tweeted Saturday and shared a video clip purportedly showing the incident.
AAP MLA Jarnail Singh and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also tweeted about the incident, with the Tilak Nagar lawmaker seeking the intervention of higher authorities.
Police, however, said 14 officials -- the SDM, an ACP-rank officer, three DPCC employees and nine police personnel -- sustained injuries in the incident and had to be taken to a hospital.
"A sealing drive was started today by SDM Delhi Cantonment along with the staff of SDMC and DPCC in Mayapuri scrap market in pursuance of the NGT orders. Some of the local scrap dealers started protesting against the sealing and then got violent and resorted to stone pelting," a senior police official said.
He added that security officials took retaliatory action to bring the situation under control but no stone was hurled at the locals. The team consisted of members of the SDMC and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) and police and paramilitary personnel, senior SDMC officials said.
अपने ही व्यापारियों को इस तरह पीटना बेहद शर्मनाक है— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) April 13, 2019
व्यापारियों ने हमेशा धन और वोट से भाजपा का साथ दिया। बदले में भाजपा ने उनकी दुकानें सील की और उनको लाठियों से पीटा। चुनाव में भी व्यापारियों पर इतना बर्बर लाठी चार्ज? भाजपा साफ़ कह रही है- नहीं चाहिए भाजपा को व्यापारियों का साथ https://t.co/irVwvymdX8
Kejriwal also took to Twitter to share a video purportedly showing police officials pelting stones at people and beating them up.
"It is extremely shameful that the citizens are being treated in this manner by the Centre. The trader community has always supported the BJP with money as well as with votes," he tweeted.
"But in return, the Centre-led police brutally beat up the traders sending a clear message that they do not want the community's support in the upcoming polls," he chief minister added.
Police said a case has been registered in connection with the incident and an investigation initiated. The National Green Tribunal had slammed the Delhi government for not taking action against illegal scrap industries in Mayapuri that cause pollution.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel had directed the chief secretary and the chairman and member secretary of the Delhi Pollution Control Committee to respond why they should not be jailed and prosecuted if illegal activities are not stopped and people keep suffering on account of illegal activities.
The green panel had also ordered the officials to appear before it on May 3 with a compliance report.