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Haldwani Hindus read the riot act, NGO cries foul

Publication: Swadharma.in
Date: February 29, 2024
URL:    https://swadharma.in/haldwani-hindus-read-the-riot-act-ngo-cries-foul/

A rag-tag coalition of Muslims and secular Hindus have complained to the DGP that Muslim businessmen are being threatened to leave Haldwani following the 8 February riot

A group of Muslims and secular Hindus came together to submit a memorandum to DGP Abhinav Kumar, bringing to his attention the alleged pressure faced by Muslim shopkeepers in Hindu-dominated areas such as Kamluaganj and Kathgharia in Haldwani. They allege that Hindus are chasing Muslims away from markets in the said locality of the town.

The memorandum, signed by Kamala Pant from Uttarakhand Mahila Manch, Harbir Singh Kushwaha, Islam Hussain, Rajeev Lochan Sah, KK Bora, Razia Baig, Shankar Gopal and Vinod Badoni, among others, aimed to shed light on the incidents of vandalism that occurred on 13 and 14 February.

These incidents served as evidence of the growing “hate” and “violence” in Uttarakhand, which deeply concerned them, said the activists, even though there is no report of physical harm from the area.

This comes three weeks after Muslims in the area took recourse to violence against the proposed demolition of an illegally constructed madrassah in the Banbhoolpura area in Haldwani of Uttarakhand in early February.

On 8 February, a group of individuals set afire a police station in Banphoolpura following an attempt by a municipal corporation team to dismantle an unauthorised madrassah and a prayer site situated on government-owned land. More than 200 individuals, including police officers, suffered severe injuries, leading the authorities to impose a curfew in the vicinity for several days.

The rioters threw stones and petrol bombs at municipal workers and police, causing the cops to seek refuge at a police station, which was later set on fire by the mob.

According to the police, six rioters were killed and over 100 individuals, including police personnel and journalists, were injured. Officials reported that the clashes were premeditated, even as the area was under a curfew.

The Uttarakhand government confirmed a state-wide high alert, leading to the suspension of internet services and the closure of all schools and colleges in Nainital. As the violence escalated, shops in Haldwani remained shut for days.

Additionally, a high alert was issued in Uttar Pradesh, with strict vehicle checks implemented. Authorities were instructed to monitor social media activities as well.

During a press conference that followed the rioting, Vandana Singh, the Nainital District Magistrate, stated that the videos of the incident showed that the police force and administration did not provoke or harm anyone. She mentioned that the police were identifying individuals responsible for the violence through CCTV footage “The encroachment was being removed after a High Court order, and an attempt was made to burn people,” she said.

Police are still hunting for suspected rioters, with 84 arrests made already. The Uttarakhand Police today arrested from Delhi the absconding Abdul Moeed in connection with the Haldwani riot of 8 February.

ANI Digital @ani_digital

Uttarakhand: Haldwani violence accused Abdul Moeed arrested in Delhi

Read @ANI Story | https://aninews.in/news/national/general-news/uttarakhand-haldwani-violence-accused-abdul-moeed-arrested-in-delhi20240229163416/
#HaldwaniViolence #AbdulMoeed #arresteU

Feb 29, 2024
The DGP announced a cash reward of Rs 50,000 for the Uttarakhand Police team that arrested Abdul Malik from Delhi.

According to the 2011 census data, the municipality of Haldwani has a population of 156,060 people, with a diverse mix of native Teraiwasi, Kumaonis, and migrants from states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, and Bengal. This results in a significant population representing various religions and regions. However, the 2017 estimate projected a population of 291,338.

The total population of the municipality area, including outgrowths, was 201,461. The urban agglomeration of Haldwani-cum-Kathgodam had a population of 232,060, consisting of 121,409 men and 110,686 women.

Hinduism is the religion of the majority in Haldwani, with 57.84% of the population following this faith, which was predominant until Muslims grew to approximately 41.89% of the population.

In the population of Haldwani, 0.89% are Christians, 2.19% are Sikhs, 0.09% are Jains and 0.09% are Buddhists. A small percentage, around 0.01%, claim to belong to ‘other religions’ while approximately 0.07% state they have ‘no particular religion’.

Recent acquisitions of properties by Muslims in the hills of Haldwani have sparked communal tensions in the town.

Today, the rag-tag coalition of a handful of Hindus and Muslims is emphasising the urgent need for immediate action to address Hindu resentment. They say they are worried about the safety and well-being of the Muslim shopkeepers targeted and forced to close their businesses. The activists believe that this kind of pressure and discrimination went against the principles of a harmonious and inclusive society.

Submitting the memorandum, the civil society representatives hope to draw the attention of DGP Abhinav Kumar and other authorities to the gravity of the situation. They seek justice for the victims of vandalism and urge the authorities to take necessary measures to ensure the safety and protection of all individuals, regardless of their religious background.

The memorandum submitted by the NGO highlights the alleged pressure faced by Muslim shopkeepers in Haldwani and the incidents of vandalism that occurred.


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