Haldwani (Uttarakhand): The anti-encroachment drive turned violent in Uttarakhand's Haldwani on February 8. Two people died and over 200 were injured in violent clashes between police and locals in Banbhoolpura area when a team of district administration officials attempted to demolish an ‘illegal madrasa’ in the area.
Where did the stones come from?
While talking on Haldwani violence, District Magistrate of Nainital, Vandana Singh said,
“It was planned that on whichever day the demolition will take place, they will attack the forces. Stone pelting was being done and even after that when we continued the demolition drive, another mob came with petrol bombs."
“A legal process to remove the encroachment is being carried out at various places and so it was done here too,”
the DM added.
Anti-encroachment drive turned violent
“The demolition drive began peacefully... Despite the entire process being carried out properly, a large mob, within half-an-hour attacked our municipal cooperation team,”
the DM further added. According to the District Magistrate, four accused have been arrested so far. A total of three FIRs over violence have been registered in the incident.
Uttarakhand High Court on anti-encroachment drive
Notably, Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday held a hearing on a PIL seeking to stop the demolition of the mosque and madrasa in Haldwani.
The PIL was filed by Malik colony resident Safia Malik and others, the petition challenged the notice given by the Haldwani Municipal Corporation.
However, no relief was granted in the matter by the vacation bench of Justice Pankaj Purohit, following which the demolition exercise began. The matter will now be heard on February 14.
Supreme Court on Haldwani Evictions
The Banbhoolpura area of Haldwani also made news in December 2022 when its residents held protests against the imminent removal of encroachments from around 29 acres of railway land there in compliance with a high court order. The protesters subsequently got relief from the Supreme Court in the matter.
(This is a developing story, stay tuned for updates)