Haldwani violence: Additional central forces deployed in curfew-hit Banbhoolpura, say officials

Haldwani (Uttarakhand), Feb 12 (PTI) Additional paramilitary forces were deployed Monday in the town’s Banbhoolpura area where violence erupted last week after authorities demolished an “illegally built” madrasa, officials said.

Nainital District Magistrate Vandana Singh said 120 arms licences have been cancelled in Banbhoolpura and the police are trying to trace people who took part in the rioting on February 8 in which police personnel and municipal corporation workers were attacked and a police station set on fire.

Six people, including five alleged to be rioters, were killed while 60 people were injured in the violence, officials said.

“Every effort is being made to maintain peace in Haldwani,” Singh said.

She added that the situation in all areas of Haldwani, including Banbhoolpura, is now “normal and under control”.

Nainital Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Prahlad Meena said additional companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed at sensitive places in Banbhoolpura.

Earlier, over 1,000 security personnel were already deployed in the area.

The curfew has been lifted in the rest of Haldwani except the Banbhoolpura area, after which the administration has started streamlining the essential services, the officials said.

“Buses, trains and other essential services have been started in Haldwani. Schools and markets have opened. The restrictions are limited to Banbhoolpura,” the DM said.

SSP Meena said essential commodities are being supplied to the residents of the curfew-hit area and more facilities will also be provided to them soon.

Banbhoolpura Primary Health Centre and the medical stores in the area have been opened and gas cylinders are also being supplied to the residents, Meena said.

General manager of Kumaon Mandal Development Corporation A P Vajpayee said gas cylinders are also being distributed in other curfew-affected areas like Kidwai Nagar, Indira Nagar, and Nai Basti among others.

Along with this, vendors of vegetables, milk and other essential items are being allowed into the Banbhoolpura area, he said.

The police have so far arrested 30 people on charges of inciting violence during the demolition of the “illegal” madrasa and a structure where namaz was held.