Curfew lifted in arson-hit Haldwani, CM says rioters will pay for damage

A magisterial probe has been ordered into the incidents with instructions to conclude it within a fortnight.
Market wears a deserted look amid curfew at Banbhoolpura
Market wears a deserted look amid curfew at BanbhoolpuraPTI

DEHRADUN: Curfew was lifted from the outer areas of the violence-hit Uttarakhand town of Haldwani but it remains in force in the Banbhoolpura area that witnessed arson and vandalism by a mob over the demolition of an illegally built madrasa on Thursday.

A magisterial probe has been ordered into the incidents with instructions to conclude it within a fortnight. The order issued by chief secretary Radha Raturi said the magisterial probe will be conducted by Kumaon Commissioner Deepak Rawat, who will submit his report to the government in 15 days.

Senior Superintendent of Police Prahlad Narayan Meena told the media that the mastermind behind this incident, Abdul Malik, who is named in the FIR, is currently being sought by the police. “Abdul Malik was the one who was responsible for the unauthorized construction in ‘Malik ka Bagicha’ and most of the resistance against the demolition was being led by him,” said SSP Meena.

“The police have registered three FIRs regarding the entire sequence of events, and besides the five arrested, other offenders identified through CCTV footage will soon be arrested for stone-pelting and arson,” said the police officer.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami has reiterated his firm stance on dealing strictly with those involved in rioting and arson. “Every single penny of the losses incurred will be reclaimed from the rioters responsible for damaging government and private property in Banbhulpura,” he said.

Meanwhile, an interfaith prayer was conducted in Dehradun. The curfew has now been limited to the entire Banbhoolpura area, which also includes the Army Cantonment (including workshop line)-Tikonia-Teenpani and the area within the peripheries of the Gaulapar bypass, the order said. The movement of vehicles on the Nainital-Bareily motor road and commercial establishments will be free from the restriction, it added.

However, only hospitals and medical shops will remain open in the areas where the curfew is in force. Shops on the outskirts of the town opened on Saturday following the partial lifting of the curfew, but schools remained closed.

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