Haldwani (Uttarakhand) [India]: Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami on Friday visited Haldwani to assess the security situation and interact with police personnel and individuals injured in the recent violence and said that strict action will be taken against the miscreants.
Clashes erupted on Thursday night after an anti-encroachment drive in Haldwani's Banbhoolpura area.
Addressing a press conference, Uttarakhand CM condemned the Haldwani violence and said that some people have tried to spoil the atmosphere in 'Dev Bhoomi' and took the law into their own hands.
"The anti-encroachment drive has been going on as per the court's direction. Yesterday when the administration was trying to raze illegal property, this violence broke out and our Police personnel including women officers were attacked and stones were pelted at them. The administration had notified people beforehand. This is highly condemnable," CM Dhami said.
He further said that the administration was attacked with petrol bombs and stones, and there was arson also.
"Uttarakhand is 'Dev Bhoomi'...this has never happened here...some people have tried to spoil the atmosphere in 'Dev Bhoomi' and took the law into their own hands...journalists were also attacked, their cameras were broken...public properties were burned...video footages will be checked, action will be taken...Law will take its own course," he added.
Uttarakhand CM added that "video footage of the whole incident is being retrieved, and those who damaged govt and public property, will be made to pay for it...we are with the people who got injured."
The state government issued a high alert across the state on Friday, and security was tightened in Banbhoolpura.
Meanwhile, the district administration has ordered the suspension of internet services and the closure of all schools and colleges.
Expressing deep concern over the Haldwani violence incident, 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, state govt and the law and order situation...A briefing will be done again in the evening," she said.