New Delhi, Jan 12 (Agencies): Police on Wednesday lobbed teargas shells and used force to disperse scores of people protesting the demolition of an "illegal" religious structure in south- east Delhi.

The demolition was carried out by Delhi Development Authority (DDA) in Jangpura area at around 6 AM amidst heavy police presence.

Police lobbed teargas shells and used force to disperse the crowd, who tried to enter the premises and offer prayers.

"A number of people gathered at the area police station and marched towards the demolition spot. They were prevented from entering the spot. They broke the barricades and tried to enter the premises. We had to resort to lobbing teargas shells and using some force," a senior police official said.

According to Mangej Singh, Deputy Director (DDA), the religious structure was built illegally on DDA land and was demolished after a committee approved it.

"A slum and this structure had come up in the DDA land. We had cleared the slums earlier but did not touch the structure as we needed a clearance from the committee looking into demolition of such structures," Singh said.

A large number of police personnel were deployed in the locality to prevent any untoward incident. Traffic was not allowed near the locality where the demolition took place.