After authorities arrived to demolish a Madrasa in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani, the local residents were reportedly denied any intimation of explanation of the demolition. Following this, members of the Muslim community, including a number of women, were protesting in response to it. Reports indicate that no prior notice was provided, and authorities allegedly refused to present demolition notices even when requested by local residents. However, the protestors were brutally beaten by the police, and not even the women were spared.
Following these events, a curfew was enacted and shoot on sight orders were given. Five Muslims are now dead after the incident, Maktoob has reported that their names are Zahid known as Johnny along with his son Anas who was a minor aged 16, Shahbaan, Faheem, and Salman. Maktoob Media has reported narratives from those who survived the violence has stated “As the police subjected us to beatings, a mob simultaneously set the area’s transformer ablaze, causing a power outage. Exploiting the darkness, the police surrounded us from all sides. They seemed intent on harming us without restraint or discrimination. It was a purposeless assault but with a clear and targeted agenda.” Additionally, reports suggest that Hindu mobs targeted properties owned by Muslims on the streets during the night.
Speaking in Almora, ANI reported the chief minister of Uttarakhand stating that encroachers will not be ‘spared’, speaking at a rally CM Dhami can be seen saying, “…Whoever is responsible for breaking the laws (Haldwani incident) will not be spared. The rioters will not be spared and soon they will realise that they have tried playing with fire. We are trying to remove encroachments from different parts of the state.”
#WATCH | Almora: Uttarakhand CM Pushkar Singh Dhami says, “…Whoever is responsible for breaking the laws (Haldwani incident) will not be spared…The rioters will not be spared and soon they will realise that they have tried playing with fire…We are trying to remove… pic.twitter.com/arLLc1XjBn
— ANI (@ANI) February 10, 2024
According to the Hindustan Times, the Senior Superintendent of Police PN Meena of Nainital has stated that they have arrested five people and 19 others who have been named in the three registered FIR. In addition to that, 5,000 more people have been named in the FIR.