DEHRADUN: Amidst the heightened tension and curfew following the outbreak of arson and rioting in the Muslim-dominated Banbhulpura area of Uttarakhand’s Haldwani, police have arrested the alleged mastermind behind the recent violence.
According to the police spokesperson, “The suspect, Abdul Malik who was tracked down in Delhi, has been brought to Haldwani, and is currently undergoing intensive interrogation by the team as part of the ongoing investigation.”
According to the SSP Meena, Abdul Malik, believed to be the mastermind behind the entire violence, played a significant role in inciting the riots on February 8, when authorities were dismantling an unauthorized madrasa and prayer site in ‘Malik ka Bagicha” in Banbhulpura.
SSP Prahalad Narayan Meena while briefing the media, said, “After monitoring CCTV cameras near the sites of the incidents and gathering additional supporting evidence, police teams conducted raids on residences in the vicinity. These operations led to the arrest of individuals involved in the mentioned cases, along with the seizure of illegal weapons and ammunition found in their possession.”
After being produced in court, they have been remanded for further interrogation. According to SSP Meena, three separate FIRs have been registered against 5,000 unidentified persons, of whom 19 have been named specifically in connection with the rioting and arson.
So far, police have taken into custody more than 75 accused who were involved in the riots. In the sensitive area of Banbhoopura, along with paramilitary forces, the police and Rapid Action Force have cordoned off the area.
A spokesperson from the Nainital Police Media Cell stated, “The police, along with the Special Operations Group (SOG) and five teams, are escalating their efforts to arrest the rioters. These teams have extended their operations to western Uttar Pradesh. In a significant crackdown following the Banbhoolpura violence, 25 identified accused have been arrested.”
The police spokesperson also disclosed that during the arrests, authorities seized 7 firearms, 54 live cartridges, and 99 looted live cartridges from the police station.
According to information received from the district information office, schools and Anganwadi centres will be reopened in all areas starting from Monday, except for the Banbhoolpura curfew zone.
Additionally, the curfew will only remain in effect within the Banbhoolpura police station area starting Monday. Train operations will also commence from the Haldwani railway station.
Furthermore, examinations at Uttarakhand Open University will begin on Monday as per the timetable.