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Revenue dept team attacked by mob during anti-encroachment drive in Delhi; official injured

A Delhi Revenue department team came under attack in Najafgarh here while clearing an encroachment on a plot of land on Thursday, resulting in a "critical" injury to an official and damage to a vehicle of the sub divisional magistrate, officials said.

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 03-09-2020 23:20 IST | Created: 03-09-2020 23:20 IST
Revenue dept team attacked by mob during anti-encroachment drive in Delhi; official injured

A Delhi Revenue department team came under attack in Najafgarh here while clearing an encroachment on a plot of land on Thursday, resulting in a "critical" injury to an official and damage to a vehicle of the sub divisional magistrate, officials said. Police said a case has been registered and legal action is being taken.

Demolition of the encroachment on an acre of land started around 12 pm at Z Block on Surakhpur Road. However, around 3.30 pm, a group of five-six men started a scuffle with Kanoongo Rakesh Kumar, a Delhi government official said. "The men followed Kumar even as he went away and sat inside the vehicle of the Najafgarh SDM. They started pelting stones, damaging the vehicle and hitting Kumar on the head. He was admitted to Venkateshwara hospital in a critical condition," the official said.

Adequate police force was provided to ensure that the demolition went smoothly. The force included the SHO himself and 20 others, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (Dwarka) Santosh Kumar Meena. "During the demolition, everything was going on smoothly at the site but around 3.30 pm, Kanoongo Rakesh Kumar went out on the road and indulged in unnecessary arguments with some locals who were saying that they should have been given time to take out their belongings," Meena claimed.

"On this, Kumar asked them why they had constructed an unauthorised house on agricultural land. One local elder, Pratap Singh (62), fell down on the road as he had some cardiac history. After this, some three-four people got annoyed and someone pelted a stone that hit Rakesh Kumar Kanoongo in the head," the DCP said. After this, the glass panes of the SDM's car were smashed. Kumar was rescued and immediately admitted to a hospital by the police. The miscreants were apprehended and the situation was controlled, he added.

Najafgarh SDM Vinay Kaushik said around 50-60 men had gathered at the spot to oppose the demolition. Later, some four-five men pelted stones, injuring Kumar and damaging the vehicle, he said. A tehsildar, Subhash Yadav, was also injured, Kaushik said.

"The encroachment had been removed twice in the past, the latest being on August 26. But it came up quickly by huge deployment of workers numbering around 40-50. In view of this, we had demanded adequate force but only around 15-20 policemen were available," he added. Sources claimed that some policemen had "instigated" the mob.

"Some policemen were heard telling the locals that these four-five men(Revenue team) were responsible for removing the encroachment. Also, when Civil Defence volunteers caught one attacker, he was let go by the police," one eyewitness alleged. The police, however, denied the charge, saying all efforts were made to keep the situation under control.


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