Nainital: Following violent clashes that erupted on Thursday night after an anti-encroachment drive, Chief Secretary Radha Raturi, DGP Abhinav Kumar, and ADG Law & Order AP Anshuman reached Haldwani on Friday to assess the situation.
The state government issued a high alert across the state on Friday, and security was tightened in Banbhoolpura.
Meanwhile, the district administration has ordered the suspension of internet services and the closure of all schools and colleges.
Expressing deep concern over the Haldwani violence incident, Nainital District Magistrate Vandana Singh termed the incident unfortunate and assured that the accused will be identified and strict action will be taken against them. Singh emphasized that the incident was not communal and urged everyone to refrain from making it a communal or sensitive issue. She clarified that no particular community was involved in the retaliation.
“The police station has been completely damaged by the mob...This is an unfortunate incident. The accused will be identified and strict action will be taken. This (incident) was not communal. I request everybody to not make it communal or sensitive. Any particular community did not retaliate...This was an effort to challenge the state machinery, state govt and the law and order situation...A briefing will be done again in the evening,” she said. Nainital DM Vandana Singh said this while addressing the media on Friday, providing details about the incident.
“According to official information till now, two people have died,” DM Singh said. Refuting claims of the property being a Madrasa, the DM specified that it was an empty property. “It is an empty property that has two structures, which are not registered as religious structures or have been given any such recognition. Some call the structure a Madrasa,” she said.
The DM said the demolition drive started peacefully but stones were pelted at the Municipal Corporation’s team. The DM said the attack on the forces was planned.
“The demolition drive started peacefully, the force was deployed for prevention...Stones were pelted on our Municipal Corporation’s team...It was planned that the day the demolition drive will be conducted the forces would be attacked...The first mob with stones were dispersed & the second mob that came in had petrol bombs. This was unprovoked and our team did not use any force...” she said. (IANS)