Jamiat condemns police action in Haldwani, alleges selective arrests

Maulana Arshad Madani claims police personnel are arresting people by breaking down doors and forcibly entering houses

Video screengrab of the violence in Haldwani
Video screengrab of the violence in Haldwani
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NH Digital

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind president Maulana Arshad Madani on Monday condemned the police action in Haldwani and claimed that the report submitted by a delegation of Muslim bodies was "extremely painful". According to their report, the protesters were treated differently "on the basis of religion".

As per media reports, as many as 50 people have been arrested in connection with the violence after the demolition of a supposedly "illegal" madrasa in Haldwani, Uttarakhand on 8 February, leading to clashes that resulted in the deaths of six people, and injuries to several more. According to some reports, cases have been registered against more than 5,000 unidentified individuals.

Madani alleged that the police were arresting people by "crossing all limits of cruelty and abuse", even breaking down doors and forcibly entering houses. A series of videos have also emerged on social media platforms, apparently featuring victims of police action who claim they were physically assaulted by police personnel who forced their way into homes.

"We have also written to the Uttarakhand DGP yesterday (11 February) demanding immediate attention in this regard. Not just the abuse of innocent citizens but also the nefarious series of arrests that have started should be stopped immediately," Madani told the Hindustan Times.

In the letter, Madani has requested the DGP to conduct a fair investigation into the whole incident.

Madani alleged that the police have resorted to "lathi-charge and firing" to control the situation when residents went up in arms against municipal officials who had reached the site with bulldozers.

However, the police said seven pistols and 54 live cartridges that had allegedly been looted from Banbhoolpura police station were recovered from those arrested.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday evening, SSP Prahlad Meena said most of the fresh arrests had been made from within the limits of Nainital district in the past 24 hours.

"Action is continuously being taken against the rioters and unruly elements involved in the Haldwani violence. All rioters are being arrested one after another. The drive against illegal encroachments in the state will not stop," chief minister Pushkar Singh Dhami said in a post on X.

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