The Uttarakhand government on Saturday urged the Centre to send four extra units of central paramilitary forces to maintain law and order in the Haldwani town, reported ANI.
In a letter to the Union home secretary, Uttarakhand’s Chief Secretary Radha Raturi said that “continuous attempts” were being made to disrupt law and order by “anarchist elements”. “There is a need of 04 companies of additional paramilitary forces,” Raturi said.
The Uttarakhand government on Saturday also ordered a magisterial probe into the violence, reported PTI. The probe will be conducted by the Commissioner of Kumaon Division Deepak Rawat, who will submit a report to the state government within 15 days.
At least 1,200 police personnel have been deployed in the area so far and six persons have been detained for their alleged involvement in the violence. Three separate FIRs have been lodged against 19 individuals and around 5,000 unidentified persons, Nainital’s Senior Superintendent of Police PN Meena told PTI.
“The police have begun a search for an accused named Abdul Malik who had built the now razed illegal structure and opposed its demolition most strongly,” Meena said.
On Thursday, municipal authorities in Haldwani’s Banbhoolpura locality demolished the Mariyam mosque and the Abdul Razzaq Zakariya madrasa that was built in 2002 on nazul land, which is government land meant for public utilities.
This led to clashes between the locals and police officials. While the locals threw stones at the police and set vehicles on fire, the police hurled tear gas shells and baton-charged them to control the violence.
A subsequent curfew that was imposed in the region was partially lifted from the outer areas of the town on Saturday, though it continues to be enforced in Banbhoolpura, where mobile internet services also remain suspended. Shops on the outskirts of the town opened on Saturday but schools remain closed, reported The Hindu.
Days before the violence, the Uttarakhand Police’s Nainital Local Intelligence Unit warned the district magistrate and the senior superintendent of police about the possibility of protests if a demolition drive is carried out in the area, reported The Indian Express on Sunday. Uttarakhand Director General of Police Abhinav Kumar has refused to comment on the report.