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‘The attack on police and journalists was pre-planned’, says journalist Mukesh Singh who was injured in Haldwani mob violence

Nainital District Magistrate Vandana Singh also said that the attack on the police and the Haldwani Municipal Corporation team on 8th February was pre-planned

One after the other, shocking revelations are being made in the Haldwani violence incident. On Friday (9th February), Nainital District Magistrate Vandana Singh told the media that the attack on the police and the Haldwani Municipal Corporation team on 8th February was pre-planned. Now, a journalist and victim of the riots Mukesh Singh has said that the attack was pre-planned to target police officials and mediapersons.

“Police personnel and mediapersons were targeted in the attack. They were targeted in such a way that several police officers have been seriously injured and vehicles of journalists have been set ablaze and they also sustained injuries. This [attack] was carried out with full planning. The incident unfolded at around 4:30 pm the illegal encroachment was demolished and by 4:45 pm there were around 1500 people at the spot. This was all done with planning by the residents of Banbhoolpura who hurled stones and petrol bombs,” Singh said.

Journalist Mukesh Singh injured during Haldwani violence speaks up from OpIndia Videos on Vimeo.

The journalist further added that the colony where the demolition exercise was undertaken is illegal. He said that action taken by the authorities against the illegally constructed madarsa-mosque on government land was in compliance with the Uttarakhand High Court order.

Moreover, Mukesh Singh said that several outsiders have settled in Banbhoolpura. “These people only know where they came from…many of them have no verification or IDs…they have come here from UP and that place [encroachment site] is illegal and they [madarsa-mosque authorities] had illegally encroached the government land. When the government reached yesterday to claim its land they were attacked with stones. The land is also not registered but only Rs 50 lease (pachaas rupay patte par zameen hai wo) and it belongs to Nagar Nigam (municipal corporation),” Singh said adding that Banbhoolpura police station and several vehicles were set ablaze by the rioters and petrol bombs were also hurled.

The violence in Banbhoolpura on Thursday left over three hundred police officials injured. Several videos of police officials injured in the mob violence have surfaced online. A woman police officer injured in the attack narrated the horror unleashed by the Islamist mob and said, “We sought refuge in a house to shield ourselves from the stone-throwing, when approximately 15 -20 individuals barged in, attacked us, stones were being hurled on us from all the sides, even from the rooftops. They also attempted to set the house ablaze, evidently with the intent to burn us alive. They wanted to burn us alive,” the injured officer said.

As reported earlier, an  Islamist mob unleashed violence in Banbhoolpura in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani over the demolition of an illegal madarsa and mosque on 8th February.

The angry mob attacked authorities who went there to demolish the construction on illegally encroached government land near the Banbhoolpura police station under the ongoing drive against illegal encroachments. The mob pelted stones at the policemen and Haldwani Municipal Corporation workers present there.

Speaking about the illegal structure in question, Senior Superintendent of Police Prahlad Meena said that the madarsa-mosque was constructed on unlawfully encroached government land. The officer said that the demolition exercise was undertaken in compliance with a court order.

Notably, Nainital DM Vandana Singh on Friday refuted claims of the property being a Madrasa, the DM specified that it was an empty property.

“It is an empty property that has two structures, which are not registered as religious structures or have been given any such recognition. Some call the structure a Madrasa,” she said.

It is pertinent to note that the action by the police municipal corporation authorities against the illegal construction on government land was taken after the Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday, did not grant relief to the petitioners Safia Malik and others seeking a stay on the demolition exercise.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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