Haldwani, India – The town of Haldwani in Nainital district is currently grappling with a wave of communal violence, with the district magistrate Vandana Singh describing the situation as “pre-planned and unprovoked.” The unrest began in Banbhoolpura after the demolition of an illegally built madrasa, igniting tensions and leading to a violent clash. Singh revealed that the attackers had prepared by collecting stones on rooftops before unleashing their assault.
Singh further disclosed that the violent mob resorted to using petrol bombs, firing at the Banbhulpura police station, and setting vehicles ablaze. Despite the demolition being carried out legally, she emphasized that the mob did not attempt to protect the structure, but instead targeted the state machinery and symbols of authority.
The district magistrate also mentioned that 15-20 individuals incited the crowd during the demolition, prompting the decision to proceed with the legal removal of the encroachment. As a result of the attack, the death toll has been revised to two from the previous three to four, with four suspects apprehended so far. Nainital’s senior superintendent of police, Prahlad Narayan Meena, also confirmed that over two dozen individuals who instigated the violence have been identified.
The outbreak of violence led to a curfew being imposed in Haldwani, with a ‘shoot-at-sight’ order issued against the rioters. Furthermore, the police reported that at least 100 individuals sustained injuries during the unrest.
The situation in Haldwani remains tense, with the district administration working to restore peace and ensure the safety of the residents. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges posed by communal tensions in various parts of the country. As authorities continue to investigate and address the underlying issues, the community at large hopes for a swift resolution to the unrest in Haldwani.