Highlights

  • Violence in Haldwani during demolition drive
  • 2 people were killed in the violence
  • Nainital DM Vandana Singh said that the violence was not communal

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Haldwani violence was not communal: DM Vandana Singh

'The violence in Haldwani was not communal,' Nainital District Magistrate Vandana Singh told reporters on Friday

Haldwani violence was not communal: DM Vandana Singh

Nainital district magistrate Vandana Singh said that the violence in Haldwani on Thursday was not communal in nature and urged everyone to refrain from making it one.

Singh said that no particular community resorted to violence.

'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,' she said while addressing a press conference.

Two people were killed and three critically injured in violence that broke out over the demolition of an alleged illegal bulding in Haldwani. A curfew has been imposed in the city with shoot-at-sight orders in place.

Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami held a high-level meeting at his official residence in Dehradun on Friday and instructed Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Law and Order, A P Anshuman, to camp in Haldwani to ensure peace and law and order in the town's Banbhoolpura area.

Taking strong note of the attack on police personnel and administrative officials and an attempt to spread unrest in the area during the removal of illegal construction, the chief minister ordered strict action against unruly elements.

He asked the senior officials attending the meeting to maintain constant coordination with the Nainital DM.

The SSP said police had to use force in self-defence when an irate mob of unruly elements attacked the Banbhoolpura police station and police personnel.

The two casualties were due to gunshot injuries, he said.

One of the three people injured sustained a gunshot wound and the two others received different kinds of injuries, Meena said. They are under treatment, he added.

Four people have been arrested for allegedly being involved in the attack on the police station and police personnel and three FIRs registered, the SSP said.

Ensuring the safety of people in Haldwani town and dealing firmly with elements trying to disrupt peace is their foremost responsibility, the officials said.

Around 15 to 20 people seem to have been involved in instigating the mob, the SSP said.

"The violence on Thursday was totally unprovoked and a handiwork of unruly elements who were not trying to protect the structures being demolished but were targeting the authorities, the state machinery, law and order," the DM said.

Police dispersed the stone-pelting and petrol bomb-hurling mob without using excess force until the police station was attacked, she said.

The mob was armed with crude weapons, including country-made pistols, and set vehicles parked outside the police station on fire, she said.

The situation in the town is under control now with a curfew imposed and around 1,100 police personnel deployed there, the SSP said.

Internet services in Haldwani have been suspended to prevent rumours being spread, officials said.

The DM said the structures stood on encroached government land and were demolished after a prior notice in compliance with a court order and the completion of all legal formalities.

The demolition drive began after the municipal corporation had taken complete legal possession of the two structures, she added.

The demolition exercise was not an isolated incident targeting particular structures but part of an anti-encroachment drive being carried out in different parts of the state to free illegally-occupied government land, Singh said.

With PTI inputs


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