Giriraj Singh

No One Has Right To Take Law Into Hands: Giriraj On Haldwani Violence

Giriraj Singh

In the wake of violence in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani on Friday, Union Minister Giriraj Singh stated that no individual has the right to take the law into their own hands, regardless of the circumstances.

Singh expressed confidence in the Uttarakhand government’s ability to handle any such transgressions effectively.

“No one has the right to take the law into their own hands. Be it religious circumstances or any other reason, The Uttarakhand government is able, and if anyone takes the law into their hands, they will handle it perfectly,” the union minister told ANI.

Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami chaired a high-level meeting with officials today to review the situation in Banbhoolpura, Haldwani after violence broke out following an anti-encroachment drive.

During the meeting, CM Dhami gave orders to take strict action against the rioters and miscreants.

Security has been heightened in the area.

Nainital District Magistrate Vandana Singh termed the incident unfortunate and assured that the accused will be identified and strict action will be taken against them.

Singh emphasized that the incident was not communal and urged everyone to refrain from making it a communal or sensitive issue. She clarified that no particular community was involved in the retaliation.

“The police station has been completely damaged by the mob…This is an unfortunate incident. The accused will be identified and strict action will be taken. This (incident) was not communal. I request everybody to not make it communal or sensitive. Any particular community did not retaliate…This was an effort to challenge the state machinery, the state government, and the law and order situation. A briefing will be done again in the evening,” she said.

Refuting claims that a madrasa was demolished in the anti-encroachment drive, the District Magistrate specified that it was an empty property.

“It was an empty property that has two structures, which are not registered as religious structures or have been given any such recognition. Some call the structure a madrasa,” she said.

The Magistrate said the demolition drive started peacefully but stones were pelted at the Municipal Corporation’s team. The DM said the attack on the forces was planned.

“The demolition drive started peacefully; the force was deployed for prevention…Stones were pelted on our municipal corporation’s team…It was planned that the day the demolition drive will be conducted, the forces would be attacked…The first mob with stones was dispersed and the second mob that came in had petrol bombs. This was unprovoked and our team did not use any force…” she said.

“You can see (in the video) that the police force and the administration are not provoking or harming anybody,” she added.

The DM said, after the HC’s order, action was taken against encroachment at various places adding that this was not an isolated activity and was not targeted at a particular asset.

“After the HC’s order, action has been taken against encroachment at various places in Haldwani…Everyone was given notice and time for hearing…Some did approach the HC some were given time while some were not given time. Where time was not given demolition drive was conducted by PWD & Municipal Corporation. This was not an isolated activity and was not targeted to a particular asset,” she said.

“We decided to continue the demolition drive because there was no stay on the assets…A legal process to remove the encroachment is being carried out at various places and so it was done here too…Our teams and resources moved and nobody was provoked or harmed…No actions were taken (by Police and administration) to cause harm to life and property…The demolition drive began peacefully…Despite the entire process being carried out properly, a large mob, within half an hour attacked our municipal cooperation team,” she said.

Further, the DM claimed that efforts were made (by the mob) to terrorize the area. Our priority was to protect the police station and then ensure that no loss of life or property occurred in Gandhi Nagar

“Maximum force was used for the protest of the police station…As soon as they (the mob) were dispersed from the police station, they headed to the Gandhi Nagar area…People from all communities and religions stay there…Efforts were made (by the mob) to terrorize the area…Our priority was to protect the police station and then ensure that no loss of life or property occurred in Gandhi Nagar…Our efforts were directed to protect the main city of Haldwani,” she said.

The DM said tear gas and water cannons were used only to safeguard the police station.

“Later, the police station was surrounded by the mob and those inside the police station were not allowed to come out. They were first pelted with stones and then attacked by petrol bombs. The vehicles outside the station were set on fire, & due to the smoke, there was suffocation due to the smoke. Tear gas and water cannons were used only to safeguard the police station,” she said.

“According to official information till now, two people have died,” DM Singh said.

Two people died and over 100 police personnel were injured after violence erupted in Haldwani’s Banbhoolpura area on Thursday during an anti-encroachment drive.

Following the unrest, the state government has issued a high alert for the entire state. Meanwhile, the district administration has ordered the suspension of internet services and the closure of all schools and colleges. (ANI)

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