Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India] : Uttarakhand Director General of Police Abhinav Kumar stressed that the recent "violent" clashes that broke out in Banbhoolpura town of Haldwani area following the demolition of an "illegal structure as part of an anti-encroachment drive on Thursday "were not "communal."
The top police official said that they have registered three first information reports (FIR) in connection with the violence, adding that "action will not be taken against innocent people."
The clashes and violence left five people dead and dozens injured, the police said on Sunday.
DGP Kumar told on Tuesday, "...People should not give this incident a communal tinge. We are taking the incident very seriously, considering the way the police and administration teams were attacked. We have registered three FIRs...The police will not take any action against innocent people...Lawful action is being taken."
"A team of district administration and police who had gone there for an anti-encroachment drive were attacked by a mob with stones, petrol bombs, and illegal weapons," the DGP added.
"We will properly collect scientific evidence and take action against the accused whose name comes up during our investigation," he added.
Urging the "law-abiding citizens" to cooperate in the police investigation, he said, "We are trying to restore normalcy in the area. The curfew is being periodically relaxed. The Internet has been restored. We also urge the law-abiding citizens to come forward and cooperate in the police investigation."
Several country-made weapons and live rounds were recovered from those arrested, the police said. Violence erupted on Thursday after the administration conducted an anti-encroachment drive in Banbhoolpura.
After stone-pelting incidents, the torching of vehicles, and a mob surrounding the local police station, the administration issued a shoot-at-sight order.
Meanwhile, the Municipal Corporation here issued a recovery notice of Rs 2.44 crore against Abdul Malik, a key accused in the violence at Haldwani, asking him to deposit the money to cover damage caused to government property during the clash.