More than 50 policemen were injured in a clash with a mob in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, when they were going to raze a madrasa that the authorities declared illegal. Resisting the demolition, the Vanbhulpura mob pelted stones at them. All of them are receiving treatment at a local hospital. Shoot-on-sight orders have been issued in the area and security has been beefed up.
In addition to the police, a team of administrative and civic officials went to the madrassa, to which there is a mosque adjacent. Sources said that when the JCB machine started working, a crowd of “unruly elements” confronted the officials, pelting them with stones from a distance. In addition to the police, several administration officials and journalists were injured. When the police responded with tear gas, the violence intensified and vehicles parked in front of the police station were set on fire.
The district magistrate informed the Chief Minister that prohibitory orders had been imposed prohibiting large gatherings in the area and to maintain normality, an order had been given to shoot rioters on sight.
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said the team had decided to demolish an illegal structure after a court order, when “anti-social elements scuffled with the police”. “Additional companies of police and central forces are being sent there. We have appealed to everyone to maintain peace. There is a curfew. Strict action will be taken against rioters and invaders who committed arson,” he was quoted as saying. ANI news agency. .
Municipal commissioner Pankaj Upadhyay said the madrassa and namaz venue were completely illegal. Earlier, the Municipal Corporation had taken possession of three acres of nearby land and sealed the madrassa and illegal namaz venue. These structures were demolished today.
The rebel elements who threw stones are being identified and will be arrested, he said.
The Chief Minister met senior officials including the Principal Secretary and Deputy Commissioner of Police, sources said.