A group of Congress leaders, including general secretary Ajay Maken, on Thursday, reached Delhi's Jahangirpuri to meet the families affected by Wednesday’s demolition drive in the area.
The delegation will submit a report to the party's interim president Sonia Gandhi, said a member of the 16-member group. "We have come to Jahangirpuri to meet the victims. Police have been cooperative. We have come here to tell the people that this should not be seen from the prism of religion," Maken told media persons.
Congress leader Imran Pratapgarhi, a delegation member, said, "We will meet the affected families. Later, we will submit a report to Sonia Gandhi."
Former Congress MLA Hari Shankar Gupta, who arrived at the site before the delegation, said that permission for meeting the people was sought from the police. "We do not want to disturb the peace here but only meet the affected families," he said.
Condemning the demolition drive carried out by Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled North Municipal Corporation of Delhi, Gupta said, "They (the civic body) did not obey the Supreme Court's orders. They shouldn't have dared to carry on with the demolition drive in contempt of the apex court. In the coming days, this can set a dangerous precedent."
The 16-member group of Congress includes Delhi Congress chief Anil Chaudhry and AICC in-charge of Delhi Shakti Sinh Gohil among others.
On Wednesday, Maken apologized for not being able to reach the area while the demolition drive was going on.
"Jahangirpuri demolition without notice/procedure is entirely illegal... Tomorrow morning, along with other senior leaders, I will visit the site. Sorry for not being there today," Maken had tweeted on Wednesday.
The visit of the Congress delegation comes after Communist Party of India (Marxist) Politburo member Brinda Karat visited the demolition site on Wednesday and called the BJP-ruled civic body's demolition drive unconstitutional.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi also visited Jahangirpuri on Wednesday and termed it a "targetted drive against a particular community".
Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress (TMC) has also decided to send a fact-finding team to the national capital on Friday, according to party sources.
Violence broke out between two communities in Jahanagirpuri on April 16 during a Hanuman Jayanti procession. The incident left nine people injured, including eight police personnel and a civilian.
Following the incident, the BJP ruled North MCD had scheduled an "encroachment removal action drive against the illegal construction in the Jahangirpuri area".
After the demolition drive started on Wednesday, Supreme Court ordered a "status-quo".
The demolition drive was criticized by Opposition leaders, including Congress leaders Shashi Tharoor and Rahul Gandhi, Asaduddin Owaisi, Delhi Environment Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Gopal Rai, CPI-M’s Brinda Karat among others.