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‘Imran Hafeez asked many small children to come dressed in Madarsa uniforms’, reveals Minor boy who participated in the Haldwani ‘protest’

The child revealed that Madeen bhai, on the orders of Hafeez Imran, had gathered 10-12 children and brought them to the demonstration venue to participate in the protest.

An OpIndia team has been conducting a ground investigation into the controversy over the eviction of illegal encroachers on railway land in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, following the tremendous buzz on social media and subsequent national media attention. The crew arrived in Haldwani on January 3, 2023, and has since been working to uncover the truth behind the protest and debunk the ‘Muslims in India under attack’ narrative that is being propagated. Today (January 5), during the course of our investigation, we spoke to some small children playing near the railway tracks who revealed how they were driven to participate in the ‘protest’.

One of the minor children playing there, who identified himself as Mohammad Sameer, told OpIndia how one Imran Hafeez had coerced him and many other children to participate in the Haldwani ‘protest.’ He also revealed how Hafiz Imran has asked all the children to come dressed up in their Madarsa uniforms.

In the video, a child is heard telling the OpIndia journalist that he attends Islamia School. He also confirms the presence of numerous Madarsas in the vicinity. The boy further verified that he and other children were taken to the Haldwani protest site dressed in Madarsa clothes. He added that one Madeen bhai, on the orders of Hafeez Imran, had gathered 10-12 children and brought them to the demonstration venue to participate in the protest.

NCPCR issues notice to Nanital DM over alleged use of minors in Haldwani protest

Notably, the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has also taken cognisance and raised objections to the use of minor children during protests against the removal of “encroachment” from a Railways land in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani. 

The apex child rights body in its letter to the Nainital District Magistrate said, “It is pertinent to mention that children of tender age have been brought to the protest site in these adverse weather conditions which can prove to be dangerous for their health and wellbeing.”

“The commission thereby requests your good offices to look into the matter and have a thorough inquiry of the events. Besides, the children which are being used in this illegal protest should be identified and produced before the Child Welfare Committee, if required for ensuring their protection,” it added.

Besides, the parents of these children may also be counselled appropriately, NCPCR said.

“In this context, it is pertinent to mention here that the Commission on earlier occasion has observed that use of children in such illegal protest has resulted in injury and even caused death of minor children in one of the protests,” the commission said.

Haldwani encroachers trained by journalist claiming to be from The Wire

Interestingly, yesterday (January 4), when OpIndia’s team was in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, to take stock of the situation, we spotted a man who identified himself as a journalist who was talking to the encroachers and tutoring them on what to say. Notably, he clearly asked them not to speak in Urdu but speak in Hindi and how it will come on channels such as the leftist propaganda outlet The Wire. He specifically asked one of the encroachers to address the Supreme Court, where the case was scheduled for hearing today, January 5.

The situation is very normal- no crowd, no noise, protest or uproar anywhere

We previously reported that on January 3, as our crew reached the location by train, we noticed the Gafur Basti neighbourhood, where illegal squatters who are being backed by AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi and propaganda outlet Alt News’ co-founder Mohammed Zubair had actually encroached on railway land.

We could see Railway Protection Force members patrolling the tracks from the station. While media and social media reports believed that there is preparation for Shaheen Bagh-2 in Haldwani, nothing like this was visible on the ground level on January 3. The OpIndia team also visited the areas of Vanbhulpura which have been declared as encroachment areas and marked for bulldozing. At those places, people were seen passing the day like normal days.

The Haldwani encroachment clearance orders and protests against it

Earlier this year, social media was flooded with viral videos of thousands of people sitting in biting cold pleading their ‘homes’ be not removed. Turns out, they were illegal encroachers and removal of encroachment was done after a High Court orders. The land that was encroached upon belonged to Indian Railways.

The protesters also claimed that the clearance of encroachments would affect a large number of women, children, and elderly persons residing in the area. Since then, speculations are rife that these are orchestrated protests and are being made to be yet another ‘Shaheen Bagh‘. And now it seems the tricks of leftist media have worked and Supreme Court has put a stay on the demolition drive.

OpIndia team will be on the ground in Haldwani for next 2-3 days and bring you reports. Along with finding out the truth about the protests, our team will also try and go to the bottom of the ‘Muslims in India under attack’ narrative that is being peddled. We will also try and find out who all are supporting these protests, both local as well as outsiders. The crowd that is being shown on social media as the affected people, we will try and find out who they are.

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राहुल पाण्डेय
राहुल पाण्डेय
धर्म और राष्ट्र की रक्षा को जीवन की प्राथमिकता मानते हुए पत्रकारिता के पथ पर अग्रसर एक प्रशिक्षु। सैनिक व किसान परिवार से संबंधित।

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