A religious dispute broke down in the Haldwani district of Uttarakhand in which around 4 people died and more than 250 people were injured. The incident unfolded on the evening of Thursday, 8 February 2024 when the claimed illegal madrasa was demolished on the orders of the Government.
After the tragic incident and to control the situation, the State Government imposed a curfew in the city while a ‘shoot-at-sight’ order was also been issued against the rioters. To maintain safety, the internet services have also been suspended and all the schools in the area have also been closed till the next order.
The Chief Minister of Uttarakhand, Pushkar Singh Dhami called an urgent meeting in the capital city Dehradun with the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police where he passed some order for security and said that people would only be allowed to move out in case of medical emergencies.
How did the demolition turn into riots?
According to the reports of ANI, on Thursday evening around 4 pm of 8 February 2024, a joint team of District Administration and Police was conducting an anti-encroachment drive in the Banbhoolpura area of Haldwani. As per the Court’s orders, the team demolished the illegally constructed madrasa to which people of the area started opposing and came onto the streets and even stoned the Police officials.
The angry residents of the area including women in large numbers protested against the demolition and the rage of the people increased as the mob set fire to several vehicles including a police patrol car. Till late evening, the mob got so uncontrolled that people even fired up the Banbhoolpura Police Station.
The Police did not provoke the mob and tried to handle the situation and the State ADG Law and Order, AG Anshuman confirmed that over 100 policemen were injured in the incident and were taken to the hospitals. It is also being reported that people fired at Police with illegal weapons and to handle the situation DIG Kumaan reached the spot with the additional Police force and the Government has also called MHA for the additional Police force.
Was Haldwani Madrasa illegal?
The major reason behind the riots in Haldwani was the demolition of the Madrasa in Banbhoolpura which is said to be illegal. The Municipal Commissioner Pankaj Upadhyay stated that the Madrasa and Namaz site of Banbhoolpura were illegal, he even claimed that the Haldwani civic body previously seized three acres of nearby land and sealed the structures.
Uttarakhand’s CM, Pushkar Singh Dhami said that in the Banbhoolpura area of Haldwani, a team from the administration went for an anti-encroachment drive following the court order where the Anti-social element turned into a brawl with the Police. A few Police personnel and administrative officials sustained injuries and now additional police force has been sent there.
CM Dhami has also appealed to everyone to maintain peace and said that a curfew has been imposed and strict actions will be taken against the rioters. The SSP Meena stated that the demolition took place in the presence of SDM Paritosh Verma, City Magistrate, Richa Singh. Apart from that a large number of Police teams and media were also present on the spot. Now, A senior Police Official reported that the situation in Haldwani has now improved.