Haldwani communal violence: Curfew, shoot at sight orders, internet suspended as 2 killed, 100 injured

Communal tension has gripped Haldwani after violence broke out over the demolition of an “illegally built” madrasa

Vehicles set on fire by miscreants over the demolition of an “illegally built” madrasa at Banbhoolpura area in Haldwani, Uttarakhand on Thursday.(PTI)

Communal tension gripped the Haldwani area of Nainital district on Thursday evening after violence broke out in Banbhoolpura over the demolition of an “illegally built” madrasa, officials familiar with the matter said. The district magistrate of the district has imposed a curfew in Banbhoolpura. A ‘shoot-at-sight’ order has also been issued against the rioters.

Nainital district magistrate Vandana Singh on Friday morning revised the death toll to two, from three-four mentioned on Thursday evening, due to some “confusion”. More than 100 people, primarily police personnel, have also been injured in the Banbhoolpura violence so far. Vandana said the curfew has been imposed in Haldwani to maintain law and order situation, while internet services have also been suspended in the city, adding that an order to keep schools in the area shut has also been issued.

Key updates on Haldwani communal violence:

  • Curfew was imposed in Halwani after residents reportedly set vehicles on fire and hurled stones, injuring at least 100 people, over the demolition of an “illegally built” madrasa.
  • Police said most of the injured were hospitalised after the violence in the city’s Banbhoolpura area were police personnel and municipal workers involved in the demolition of a local madrasa.
  • Senior superintendent of police Prahlad Meena said a notice was served earlier on the madrasa constructed illegally on government land.
  • Nainital district magistrate Vandana said at the violence outside the Banbhoolpura police station, some people fired (it is being confirmed whether they were illegal or legal weapons). “In response, the police fired in the air. The identification of the deceased is being done. We will have to wait to ascertain whether they have died in the police firing or firing by people among them,” the DM said.
  • Vandana claimed that the rioters tried to torch the Banbhoolpura police station. “At that time, our policemen were present at the police station. The police force, however, controlled them and didn’t allow them to enter the police station. The violence then spread to Gandhi Nagar area near Banbhoolpura,” she said.
  • The DM claimed that it appears the violence was “pre-planned and unprovoked” and “stones were stored beforehand at homes”. “The rioters even used petrol bombs,” she added.
  • According to the DM, the situation is now under control. The violence has been controlled in Banbhoolpura and wasn’t allowed to be spread to the main city. “Paramilitary forces have also been deployed in the area and more are on their way. Additional police force from the neighbouring districts has also been deployed in the city to maintain law and order,” she said.

CM Dhami calls meeting

In capital Dehradun, chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami summoned a meeting of senior officials. SSP Meena said the demolition was carried out in the presence of municipal commissioner Pankaj Upadhyay, city magistrate Richa Singh and SDM Paritosh Verma.

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