Uttarakhand: 800 unidentified persons booked over communal tensions in Haldwani
The case pertains to an incident that took place on Monday night after a group of Muslim men offering Taraweeh (namaz), were allegedly assaulted by another group of men on Monday night in the Haldwani district
Nainital police have booked around 800 unidentified people for allegedly indulging in violence, blocking the Nainital-Haldwani national highway and staging a protest near the Haldwani police station creating a ruckus, officials said.
Haldwani station house officer (SHO) Harendra Choudhary said, “We have booked 700-800 people under sections 147 (rioting), 332 (Voluntarily causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) and (Mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) for blocking the highway, indulging in violence.”
“We are trying to identify the accused,” the SHO said.
The case pertains to an incident that took place on Monday night after a group of Muslim men offering Taraweeh (namaz), were allegedly assaulted by another group of men on Monday night in the Haldwani district.
On Monday, after the alleged attack on worshippers came to the fore, police said a large crowd of Muslim men gathered outside the Haldwani police station and staged a protest. At around 2am, on the persuasion of an Imam, the protesters were pacified, police said.
Following the Monday night incident, earlier, the police had booked an identified man, Mukesh Bhatt alias Mukki, and 40 others for allegedly attacking the Muslim worshippers in Bhotia Parao, a Hindu-dominated area. The FIR was registered on the complaint of Imam Shahid Hussain, police said.
In his complaint, Hussain alleged, “A group of Hindu men led by Bhatt reached outside the house of advocate Zaffar Siddique to create religious turmoil and kill Muslim worshippers. They locked us inside and were planning to kill us by setting the house on fire. They were carrying weapons. They subsequently broke the door, entered inside and beat Muslim men mercilessly despite the presence of policemen. The mob threatened to kill people from the Muslim community if they were ever seen on Nainital Road. The incident left many of us injured and hurt our community’s sentiments.”
Police said the activists belonging to the Hindu community created a ruckus in the Bhotia Padao area on Monday night when 30-40 protestors gathered outside the house belonging to a lawyer situated on a ‘nazul land’ (government land given on lease for non-agricultural purposes). They alleged that Muslims had been using this house for offering prayers.
The incident triggered communal tension in the city.