Nainital: Communal tension gripped Haldwani region of Uttarakhand’s Nainital district as violence broke out in Banbhoolpura following demolition of an “illegally built” madrasa and an adjoining mosque. Two persons died and more than 100 police personnel were injured in the clashes, according to news agency ANI.
The authorities imposed a curfew after residents set vehicles and a police station on fire and hurled stones at police personnel, municipal corporation workers and journalists. A ‘shoot-at-sight’ order has also been issued against the rioters.
On Friday, Nainital district magistrate Vandana Singh revised the death toll to two, from three-four mentioned the previous evening. She further told the media that the curfew has been imposed in Haldwani to maintain law and order situation. Internet services have been suspended in the city and schools in the area have also been shut, she added.
Singh emphasised that the video evidence clearly showed that neither police nor the administration initiated or inflicted harm on anyone. She further stated that the individuals responsible for the incident were being identified through CCTV footage. “The encroachment was being removed after a High Court order, and an attempt was made to burn people,” she added.
Senior Superintendent of Police Prahlad Meena said that both the madrasa and the mosque were constructed on government land that had been illegally encroached upon. He stated that the demolitions were executed under the supervision of a substantial police and Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) presence, adhering to a court mandate, according to PTI.