Uttarakhand CM reaches Haldwani; says perpetrators will face strict action

Haldwani (Uttarakhand), Feb 9 (UNI) Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami reached Haldwani on Friday and enquired about the condition of those injured in Thursday’s violent incidents during a demolition drive in the Banbhoolpur area.

Dhami held a meeting with the officials and took stock of the situation. He also visited various hospitals and met the injured police personnel, media persons and others and enquired about their well-being.

He was accompanied by cabinet minister and district in-charge minister Rekha Arya and Kaladhungi MLA Bansidhar Bhagat.

While talking to reporters, the Chief Minister said that the law will take its course and there is enough evidence against the culprits. Video footage is being analysed and evidence is being collected. Each culprit will be identified and strict action will be taken.

He also took complete information from the police and administration and instructed them to deal with the miscreants strictly.

Earlier, the state government had sent the newly appointed Chief Secretary Radha Raturi and Director General of Police (DGP) Abhinav Kumar to take stock of the situation.

While talking to reporters here Radha Raturi said after a complete assessment and review of the situation, a report will be submitted to the Chief Minister and further steps will be taken.

She added that the situation is under control and none of the culprits will be spared. She also held discussions with the District Magistrate of Nainital Vandana Singh and Senior Superintendent of Police P S Meena and got information about the entire incident.

On Friday morning, Nainital District Magistrate Vandana Singh called the violence “pre-planned” and the purpose of miscreants was to challenge the government directly.

Addressing a press conference here, the DM said that the rioters were planning the attack for several days and their purpose was to directly confront the government by setting the police station on fire Thursday.

She said an anti-encroachment drive has been going in several parts of Haldwani for a long time and many illegal encroachments have been removed.

Vandana Singh said that the property was neither a religious place nor a private property. There is no mention of any religious place even in documents. Two structures were built by encroaching on Nazul land.

Stating that the entire attack by the miscreants was well-planned, the DM said as per their plan, stones were collected and secured on the rooftops of nearby houses and this did not happen in a day or two.

A large mob, without any provocation, first started pelting stones at the Municipal Corporation and administration team which was removing the encroachment but the police team immediately removed them.

Government and private vehicles parked outside the police station were set on fire. An attempt was made to set the police station, officers and weapons on fire.

After this, the administration took stern steps and ordered a curfew as well as the use of force against the miscreants. Shoot at sight order was also issued but the mob did not stop and surrounded the Gandhinagar area. The miscreants were somehow driven away from there, the official added.

She said the rioters attacked the police without any provocation. Their purpose was to challenge the authority.

The rioters completely damaged the Banbhoolpura police station and property.

Meanwhile, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) PS Meena said that two people died in this entire incident. The dead are being identified. Moreover, some police personnel and media persons have also sustained injuries in the incident.

The police are also investigating whose gunshots killed the two youths. The District administration has started the process of identifying rioters and strict action will be taken against the perpetrators.

The DM said the situation was under control. The internet service has been suspended in the affected area. Heavy police force has been deployed and curfew will continue till further orders.

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