In Uttarakhand’s Haldwani violent clashes erupted on Thursday following the demolition of an “illegal” madrasa.
According to AP Anshuman, State ADG Law & Order, at least four people were killed and over 100 policemen sustained injuries during the unrest that ensued in the aftermath of the demolition. The situation escalated and authorities imposed a curfew and deployed paramilitary forces in the area.
Amid escalating tensions, the state government authorized security personnel to use lethal force against any disruptive elements and issued a shoot-on-sight order for rioters. Schools and colleges were shut down, and internet services were suspended in the area.
Paramilitary forces were deployed to the strife-torn area, with Police Headquarters spokesperson IG Nilesh Anand Bharne confirming the dispatch of four companies to the violence-hit zone. Two companies of the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) from Udham Singh Nagar were mobilized to assist in restoring order.
Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami convened a meeting of senior officials, leading to the imposition of a curfew across Haldwani. Dhami urged calm and directed officials to handle “anarchic elements” firmly.
According to police, the violent outburst saw miscreants pelting stones at police officers and setting vehicles ablaze, including a police car, as municipal corporation officials carried out the demolition near the Banbhoolpura police station.
District Magistrate Vandana Singh said that the action against encroachments was not “an isolated activity and it was not targeted at a particular asset” and was conducted in compliance with the High Court’s order. She mentioned that while some were given time to address the issue, others faced immediate demolition drives by Public Works Department (PWD) and Municipal Corporation officials.
“Some did approach the HC and of them, some were given time, while others weren’t,” she said.