Raiwala-Rishikesh communal tension reaches Haridwar | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Raiwala-Rishikesh communal tension reaches Haridwar

Two people, identified as Pramod Lodhi Rajput and Sumit Saxena of Kankhal, were arrested on Saturday evening. Earlier, the district administration deployed police and provincial armed constabulary personnel at Kankhal and other sensitive pockets. Section 144 of CrPC was also imposed in the entire city.

dehradun Updated: Oct 07, 2017 20:54 IST
Sandeep Rawat
A barber’s shop ransacked by the group at Kankhal in Haridwar.
A barber’s shop ransacked by the group at Kankhal in Haridwar.(HT Photo)

HARIDWAR: The communal tension that affected the Raiwala-Rishikesh belt for past three days reached Haridwar on Friday night as a group of unidentified people ransacked shops of some Muslim traders at
Kankhal market.

Two people, identified as Pramod Lodhi Rajput and Sumit Saxena of Kankhal, were arrested on Saturday evening. Earlier, the district administration deployed a large number of police and provincial armed constabulary personnel at Kankhal and other sensitive pockets. Section 144 of CrPC was also imposed in the entire city.

Haridwar last saw such tension in June 2016 when Khanpur legislator Kunwar Pranab Singh’s relative evicted a tenant at Landaura market. Later, a mob had torched vehicles and pelted stones, prompting the police
to go for lathi charge.

In the Kankhal incident, a group of masked people armed with hockey sticks, baseball and cricket bats arrived on two-wheelers. The group raised slogans and vandalised a dozen odd properties of Muslim shopkeepers and vendors. Some locals, who tried to intervene, also came under attack. The group looted cash and two mobile phones from the targeted shops, the police said.

Five traders were injured while they were trying to close their shops near Bengali Mod and Purushottam Vihar in Kankhal, barely 1 km away from the Kankhal police station.

“I came outside on seeing bike borne people shouting slogans against our community. They asked our names and targeted only those traders who belonged to our community,” barber Nasir said. Milk vendor Gulam Rasool,who was beaten up at Purushottam Vihar,said he alerted his family at the Bairagi camp after the unidentified men threatened him of taking revenge.

Subsequently, a case was registered against 15 unidentified people at the Kankhal police station. Superintendent of police, city, Mamta Vohra said her personnel went through CCTV footage and took accounts of the targeted traders and locals to gather details of the attackers.

“The situation is now under control after the police was deployed. We appreciate the harmony that exists among the people as the situation didn’t aggravate despite this incident,” Kankhal circle officer JP Juyal said.

Condemning the violence, Kankhal sweet shop traders union representative Manoj Khanna urged traders to keep their shops open for sending a strong message to the ‘anti-social elements’. In the afternoon, the Muslim shop owners were seen along with their Hindu counterparts repairing the damaged shops.

“The bonhomie that exists between the two communities in Haridwar is an example for all. During the Kanwar fair, Muslims organise refreshment camps for Shiva devotees while Hindus host iftars during Eid. That normalcy returned in Kankhal market proves this aspect,” former municipal chairperson Pradeep Chaudhary asserted.