A police station will be built on the land where a mosque and a madrasa were demolished in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani, said Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Monday.
On February 8, municipal authorities demolished the Mariyam mosque and the Abdul Razzaq Zakariya madrasa, located in the Banbhoolpura locality of the city, claiming that they were built illegally on government land. The structures were razed even while the matter was underway in the Uttarakhand High Court.
This led to clashes between the local residents 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.
At least six persons were killed in the violence and more than 100 were injured, including police personnel. Some of the persons killed in the violence had gunshot wounds, reports suggest.
On Monday, Dhami said that “encroachment” was recently removed from a garden in Banbhoolpura and several acres of land was recovered.
“On that land, arson and stone-pelting took place, disturbance was caused, all laws were broken, and our journalist brothers were thrown into fire,” said the chief minister during an event in Haridwar. “From this holy bank of Ganga, I announce that a police station will be built at that place.”
Dhami shared a video of his statement on social media said that it was “a clear message from our government to the miscreants and rioters”.
“To one who plays with the peace of Devbhoomi will be spared, there is no place for such miscreants in Uttarakhand,” he said.
On Sunday, the police said that 30 persons had been arrested in connection with the violence. Nainital’s Senior Superintendent of Police Prahlad Narayan Meena stated that three first information reports have been filed in the matter so far.
Of the total arrested persons, 12 were allegedly involved in attacking the police station, six allegedly in setting cars ablaze outside the police station and seven had allegedly participated in the violence during the demolition.
A Congress delegation met Dhami on Sunday and demanded an impartial investigation into the matter.
Dhami told the delegation led by Yashpal Arya, the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly, that the government has taken immediate steps to maintain law and order in Haldwani.
Meanwhile, a delegation of representatives from two Muslim groups, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind and Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, visited Haldwani on the same day, PTI reported.
Jamiat chief Maulana Arshad Madani criticised the use of police force and alleged that the police were barging into homes and harassing Muslims, including men and women.
Madani alleged that instead of enforcing law and order, the police “become a party against Muslims everywhere” but act differently in cases involving others.