February 28, 2024

New Delhi:

The situation in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani is slowly returning to normal after Thursday’s violence. Thirty people have been arrested in the matter and the district is still under security blanket. Tomorrow, schools in the district will open and the administration is making all-out efforts to restore normalcy.

The riot-hit area, Vanbhulpura, though will remain under the stern eyes of the administration. Schools will remain closed and curfew will stay in place.

A platoon of paramilitary forces reached the area today and four others are on way.

Five people died and more than 250 people were injured during Thursday’s violence after an illegal madrasa and space for namaz in Malik’s Garden was demolished by the local municipal corporation.

The civic team and police had gone to the area with a court order. But they were met with massive protests by local residents, who hit the streets and threw stones. Many vehicles including four JCB machines of the Municipal Corporation were set ablaze by the mob. Around 50 policemen — besides administration officials, protesters and journalists — were injured.

The city was placed under curfew. Shoot-at-sight orders were issued against rioters and internet services completely shut down.

As tension spiked in the area, people started migrating. At present most houses stand empty and locked.

Main accused in the case Abdul Malik is on the run but the police said he would be arrested soon. Malik had allegedly built the illegal structure whose demolition triggered the violence.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has reiterated his determination to deal sternly with those involved in the violence.

“Action is continuously being taken against the rioters and unruly elements involved in the Haldwani violence. All rioters are being arrested one after another. The drive against illegal encroachments in the state will not stop,” he said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

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