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MCD chief faces wrath of Congress supporters

By Our Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI, OCT. 10. Even as the Delhi Cabinet is undecided on how to implement the Supreme Court orders on relocation of slaughter house at Ghazipur in trans-Yamuna, a large number of Congress supporters, allegedly having the backing of the local MLA and the Chief Parliamentary Secretary, Naseeb Singh, protested and tried to attack the official residence of the Municpal Commissioner, Rakesh Mehta.

Shouting provocative slogans, the protestors threatened Mr. Mehta of dire consequences if he went ahead with his plans to implement the Supreme Court order regarding shifting of the century-old Idgah slaughter house from the congested Old Delhi to the Ghazipur landfill site in east Delhi.

As per the Supreme Court order, the MCD has been directed to relocate Idgah slaughter house at Ghazipur within six months -- before January 2005 - and construct a modern and hygienic slaughter house within two years. Despite resistance from the local residents and leaders including the area MLA, Naseeb Singh, and Councillor, Ramesh Pandit, besides the Delhi Finance Minister, A. K. Walia, the Municipal Commissioner has been going ahead with the plans to meet the deadline of the Apex Court.

Eyewitness said Congress supporters reached the Chanakyapuri-located residence of Mr. Mehta at about 10 a.m. Soon they started raising slogans against him. The protestors from trans-Yamuna demanded that the slaughter house be constructed in some other part of the Capital and not in Ghazipur. "If you (Mr. Mehta) go ahead with your plan, we would slaughter animals right outside your house," the protestors said.

As the mob violently moved towards the residence of the Commissioner, the family members immediately called up the police. And before they could enter his premises, the police arrived on the scene and prevented any untoward incident. All protestors were immediately detained and taken to the Chanakyapuri Police Station. After the incident, Delhi Police has beefed up security at the residence of Mr. Mehta. The police said it arrested more than 100 people in this connection.

Meanwhile, the Residents Welfare Association of Chanakyapuri - which mainly consists of top Government bureaucrats -- has decided to take up the issue of protest and attack on residence of an official seriously and convened an emergency meeting of all its residents this evening. Angry at the turn of events, office bearers of the RWA and its members accused the police of relaxing security in this VVIP zone of the Capital. They said today it is turn of one official; tomorrow it could be any one of them. "We are just performing our duty as per the orders of the Supreme Court. If such an unfortunate trend is not stopped immediately, we cannot perform our duty," the RWA said.

Upset with the developments, Mr. Mehta, who was not at home at the time of incident, said he would take up the matter with the Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit. "I am only implementing the Court order and performing my duty in this regard," he said.

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