The Nainital district administration in Uttarakhand has imposed curfew and issued shoot-at-sight orders in Haldwani after over 30 policemen were injured in stone pelting by a mob in Bhanbhoolpura area.
The stone pelting incident happened after the police entered the Muslim-dominated area to raze a Madrasa, which was declared illegal by the authorities.
Resisting the demolition, the mob at Vanbhulpura threw stones at the team of police, administration and civic body officials.
According to reports, besides policemen, several administration officials and journalists were also injured in the stone pelting.
The violent mob also damaged the JCB and set fire to police vehicles and civic body's tractor.
As the police retaliated with tear gas, the violence intensified.
Additionally, a transformer was set ablaze, resulting in a power outage in the vicinity.
Several journalists and administration officials were trapped inside the police station as a mob surrounded the Banbhulpura police station and burned vehicles parked outside it.
The administration has called in additional forces to Haldwani in view of the escalating situation.
A curfew has been imposed in Banbhoolpura after Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami held a meeting with the Chief Secretary and Director General of Police.
Talking about the situation, Dhami said, "In the Banbhulpura area of Haldwani, a team from the administration went for an anti-encroachment drive following a court order. Anti-social elements there got into a brawl with the police".
"A few police personnel and administrative officials sustained injuries. Additional companies of police and central forces are being sent there. We have appealed to everyone to maintain peace. A curfew is in place. Strict action will be taken against rioters and encroachers who committed arson" he added.
Following the violence, the Nainital district magistrate has imposed curfew in Haldwani and also issued a shoot-at-sight order.
Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.
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