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Haldwani: Schools Shut, 6 Dead, 250 Injured, Curfew Imposed As Uttarakhand Burns In Violence

As tensions rise, a curfew has been imposed across Haldwani, accompanied by the closure of shops and schools in affected areas.

Edited By : Saurav Gupta | Updated: Feb 9, 2024 10:16 IST
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Haldwani: Schools Shut, 6 Dead, 250 Injured, Curfew Imposed As Uttarakhand Burns In Violence
Haldwani: Schools Shut, 6 Dead, 250 Injured, Curfew Imposed As Uttarakhand Burns In Violence

Demolition Sparks Unrest

Six fatalities and 250 injuries have been reported in the city of Haldwani, Uttarakhand, as violent clashes erupted over the demolition of an illegal madrasa and an adjoining mosque on Thursday. The administration’s move to raze the structures, deemed illegal, led to fierce resistance from residents in the Vanbhulpura area, resulting in widespread chaos. However, District Magistrate, Nainital, Vandana Singh stated that as per the information till now, two people have died.

Haldwani Police Confrontation and Injuries

A government team, accompanied by police, faced intense opposition while attempting to clear government land allegedly encroached upon by the madrasa and mosque. The clash resulted in injuries to over 50 policemen, administration officials, municipal workers, and journalists caught in the crossfire. “Unruly elements” threw stones at officials, prompting the police to retaliate with tear gas, escalating the violence.

Demolitions Complying with Court Order

The demolitions, carried out under heavy police and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) presence, were in compliance with a court order, according to senior Superintendent of Police Prahlad Meena. Enraged residents, including women, took to the streets in protest, breaking barricades and clashing with the police, leading to property damage.

Haldwani Government Response and Appeal for Peace

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami dispatched a team to carry out the demolitions, emphasizing that “anti-social elements” clashed with the police. Additional police and central forces are being deployed to restore order, with the Chief Minister appealing to the public for calm. Municipal Commissioner Pankaj Upadhyay highlighted the illegal status of the madrasa and namaz site.

Read More: Delhi Weather: Clear Skies, Cold Day, Strong Wind Surfaces In City

Curfew Imposed and Precautionary Measures

As tensions rise, a curfew has been imposed across Haldwani, accompanied by the closure of shops and schools in affected areas. The Chief Minister urged officials to deal sternly with “anarchic elements,” while injured individuals, many with head and face injuries, receive treatment in hospitals. Prohibitory orders and a shoot-at-sight policy against rioters were discussed in a meeting with senior officials.

Haldwani Legal Challenge and Ongoing Unrest

Despite a hearing in the Uttarakhand High Court on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking to halt the demolition, relief was not granted, and the demolition continued. The matter is scheduled for further hearing on February 14, as the city grapples with the aftermath of the violent clashes.

First published on: Feb 09, 2024 09:53 AM IST

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