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Violence Erupts In Haldwani Over Demolition | Ongoing Tensions And Government Response

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Haldwani, Uttarakhand, is in a state of unease following a recent night of violence. In the Banbhoolpura area, clashes occurred on Thursday night, resulting in four fatalities and over 250 injuries. In response, authorities have implemented a curfew, issued shoot-at-sight orders against rioters, and halted internet services. 

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The violence in Haldwani commenced over the demolition of an illegal madrasa and an adjoining mosque. A police team attempted to raze the structures at ‘Malik ka Bagicha’ around 2 pm on Thursday. However, faced with resistance from angry locals, the situation escalated as the crowd pelted stones at the officials. After a mild lathi-charge failed to quell the unrest, the authorities retreated to the police station. Subsequently, the mob surrounded the police station, leading to further violence, including a petrol bomb attack that resulted in the station’s destruction.

Violence Erupts in Haldwani: Four Dead In Planned Clashes Over Mosque  Demolition

Source: The Hans India

Director General of Police (DGP) Abhinav Kumar acknowledged the violence, stating that an administrative inquiry would determine the cause of public anger. The rioting persisted for three to four hours, finally coming under control by 9 pm. Unfortunately, the unrest claimed four lives, with over 250 individuals sustaining injuries, most of which involve head and face trauma. Soban Singh Jeena Hospital is attending to the injured.

Following the chaos, section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was imposed in Banbhoolpura, accompanied by shoot-at-sight orders against rioters. DGP Abhinav Kumar clarified that the police, authorized for self-defense, may use force when faced with violent mobs resorting to stone-pelting and arson. The extent of property damage is under assessment, and a proper evaluation will be conducted by the chief secretary and ADG Law and Order.

Communal tension erupts in Uttarakhand's Haldwani; case filed against 40  people -

Source: Hindustan Times

Questions surrounding the legality of the razed mosque and madrasa persist. Councillor Shakeel Ahmad claimed that the High Court had not finalized the case regarding the removal of illegal encroachment. However, authorities, including Senior Superintendent of Police Prahlad Meena and Nainital District Magistrate Vandana Singh, insist that the demolition adhered to a court order. A prior notice about the demolition had been issued to residents.

In response to the violence, a curfew has been enforced, and internet services suspended, with the Uttarakhand government on high alert. Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami urged the public to maintain peace, attributing the unrest to clashes with ‘anti-social elements.’ Additional police and central forces have been deployed to the area. The Nainital District Magistrate’s office asserted that losses would be compensated by the rioters, emphasizing their commitment to combating illegal encroachment.

Violence erupts in Uttarakhand's Haldwani after madrasa demolition;  shoot-at-sight ordered; curfew imposed

Source: The News Indian Express

Uttarakhand DGP Abhinav Kumar assured that extensive videographic evidence would lead to the identification of those responsible for the violence. Strict action would be taken against them in the coming days. The government remains resolute in its campaign against illegal encroachment, ensuring that the incident does not deter its efforts.


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