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Haldwani Violence: Main conspirator Abdul Malik not arrested yet, SSP Nainital says media reports of arrest were wrong

Violence in Haldwani broke out when the administration arrived to take down the unlawful mosque-madrasa that was constructed by illegally occupying and building the 'Malik Ka Bagicha' (Malik's garden) on government property.

Abdul Malik, the primary instigator of the violence in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani has not been taken into custody from Delhi. Nainital police has stated in a press statement that the earlier media reports of his arrest are wrong and he is yet to be arrested. This comes as law and order situation is under control now, and security agencies are now hunting all the rioters. Five protesters, including two Councillors, a mining businessman, and brother of a Samajwadi Party leader have been arrested in Banbhoolpura.

Abdul Malik’s name had emerged as one of the key conspirators of the violence in Haldwani.

Malik has been absconding since the deadly riots transpired in the Uttarakhand town. Two squads were dispatched to western Uttar Pradesh to arrest him.

Meanwhile, following the violence in Haldwani, over 75 individuals have been held and interrogated. Official complaints have been registered against 19 named and 5000 unknown individuals. Among the detained is Javed Siddiqui, sibling of Samajwadi Party’s Uttarakhand state in-charge Abdul Mateen Siddiqui. The Councillor of line number 16, Mehboob Alam, and line number 14, Zeeshan Parvez, a resident of Indira Nagar, have also been arrested.

Arshad Ayyub, a mining entrepreneur who lives in line number 12, and Aslam Chaudhary, who manages a diary, have also been caught. The five have been interrogated after being placed under remand.

Violence in Haldwani broke out when the administration arrived to take down the unlawful mosque-madrasa that was constructed by illegally occupying and building the ‘Malik Ka Bagicha’ (Malik’s garden) on government property. Main suspect Abdul Malik was the most opposed to this action.

The police’s efforts to apprehend Abdul Malik, who had escaped earlier, have now finally borne fruit. A complaint has been filed against him under multiple sections, such as conspiracy, land-grabbing, instigating people, and impeding government work.

Notably, eight months back, the Municipal Corporation had demolished an unauthorised structure at Abdul Malik’s Garden. Homes were built here and tiny plots were carved out and sold.

A complaint regarding illicit construction and occupation was submitted before City Magistrate Richa Singh on 28th December last year. The Municipal Commissioner Ganesh Bhatt was then consulted on the subject and the encroachment was razed under his leadership. Afterwards, the dispute reached the High court and plans were initiated to tear down the madrasa and mosque. However, conflict flared as soon as the municipal corporation staff arrived at the scene.

Notably, authorities have intensified efforts to detain individuals involved in the unrest, which led to severe stone pelting, arson, killings, hurling of petrol bombs and disruption during the erasing of the unauthorised structures among many other shocking instances as Islamist mobs targeted both male and female cops as well as common citizens in protest of the lawful demolition drive. Security agencies have intensified the crackdown on troublemakers and caught over 75 individuals reportedly involved in the disturbances.

Note: A previous version of this report has stated that the main conspirator in the Haldwani violence case, Abdul Malik has been arrested from Delhi. It was based on media reports available at that time. However, SSP Nainital had on the night of 11 February clarified that the reports of Malik’s arrest were wrong and Abdul Malik is still absconding.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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