DDA razed church, Delhi government has no control: Kejriwal
(Sourced from PTI)
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday assured justice in a matter related to the demolition of a church in the national capital, saying the action was taken by the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) which comes under the Central government. Notably, the south Delhi district administration on July 12 razed a church built upon "encroached" land during a demolition drive in the Chattarpur area.
However, the church members termed the action "illegal," claiming that a notice was not served to vacate the premises. "I was initially told that the demolition was carried out by the Delhi Development Authority. The DDA comes under the Central government. The Delhi government has no control over it," Kejriwal told reporters during his visit.
"The DDA perhaps approached the High Court, which gave the order and the DDA took the action," he said. The AAP national convener also said that the local MLA of his party is with the church and providing all the help.
"If there was a stay order by the High Court, the demolition of the portion wouldn't have happened. I don't know the legal part of the matter. When I arrived yesterday, I was told that such action had been taken," he said. "I can only assure you that the justice will be done and whatever is right will be upheld," Kejriwal added.
A senior DDA official, when contacted, said that no such action has been taken by the urban body. The Congress hit out at Kejriwal and accused him of lying on the church demolition issue.
Addressing the media in Goa, Congress national spokesperson Shama Mohamed alleged that both AAP and the BJP were behind the demolition of the church, which she said, was razed even without serving a notice to its management. She said the BJP and the AAP are two sides of the same coin as both "spread hatred and encourage communal divide for their selfish political gains."
"Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal lied to the Goans on church demolition in Delhi," Mohamed said. She said the DDA has two AAP MLAs, one BJP MLA, and three BJP corporators as members. "We hold both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal responsible for the demolition," she said and dubbed the DDA action as "completely illegal and insensitive."
She said Kejriwal must explain why his two MLAs, Dilip Pandey and Somnath Bharti (DDA members), have kept quiet on the demolition issue. BJP MLA OP Sharma (a DDA member) also remained a silent spectator in demolishing a religious structure, the Congress spokesperson added.