Home Dehradun Haldwani violence: Police interrogate more than 90 rioters, 25 arrested

Haldwani violence: Police interrogate more than 90 rioters, 25 arrested

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By Arun Pratap Singh

Haldwani/Dehradun, 12 Feb: Five days after the unprecedented anti-state violence that occurred in Banphulpura area of Haldwani on 8 February, the Police have still not been able to nab a large number of culprits or suspects. So far, more than 90 suspects have been detained by the police and are being interrogated, while only 25 others have been arrested.

It may be recalled that thousands of rioters from a particular community including women and children had attacked the Police, including women police personnel, the municipal officials and even media persons on 8 February.

The audaciousness of the rioters can be gauged from the fact that they not only burned the police station and some police vehicles, they also stole a large quantity of ammunition including live cartridges and even some firearms.

Additional District Magistrate (ADM), Haldwani, Fincha Ram Chauhan who has been made the nodal magistrate in respect of the administrative action being taken after the violence in Banphulpura, today informed the media that 7 pistols, 54 live cartridges and 99 live cartridges looted from the police station have also been recovered from the possession of the arrested accused. In connection with the violent incidents of stone pelting, arson and firing, 3 FIRs bearing numbers 21/2024, 22/2024 and 23/2024 have been registered in Police Station-Banbhulpura. ADG AP Anshuman continues to camp in Haldwani on the directions of the Chief Minister and supervise the investigation and the police action in this regard.

It may be recalled that the miscreants with the guns looted from Police as well as in their own possession had also fired at several policemen and women police officials.

It may also be recalled that arm licences of more than 120 persons have been cancelled by the district administration on the recommendation of the Police in the past two days.

​Abdul Malik, who is stated to be the mastermind behind the violence, is yet to be arrested despite the rumours floating since Saturday that he had been arrested from Delhi. The Police in the past two days had not bothered to either confirm or deny these claims. However, speaking to the media, SSP Prahlad Narayan Meena this morning conceded that Malik is still at large and claimed that efforts are being made to nab him soon. Meena also said that, once Malik is arrested, the Police will share the details with the media. He also stated that curfew had been either lifted or relaxed in all areas except Banphulpura, where the violence had happened.

Police sources have claimed that the department has intensified efforts to identify as many as culprits as possible and arrest them.  Sources claimed that 12 teams of police have been engaged to arrest the accused under the supervision of the paramilitary force even as the Police officials are interrogating more than 90 suspects who have been detained. All the detained persons have been put up in a school building in Gaulapar. The police teams are learnt to be matching the faces of all of them with CCTV footage, photos and videos. Along with this, other evidence is also being collected. At the same time, the police are conducting raids to arrest other accused.

In addition, the call details of the arrested and the detained suspects are also being scrutinised. Meanwhile, sources also claimed that a large number of those involved in the violence have managed to flee Uttarakhand. A large number of alleged rioters in search of whom the Police conducted raids in Banphulpura and other places in Haldwani are absconding. Some mobile numbers under the surveillance of the Police also have been detected to be located in Bareilly and other places of UP.  The Police sources claim that this indicates that many persons living in UP were also involved in violence as conspirators or co-conspirators as these numbers have been found to be in touch with many local numbers of the rioters in Haldwani before the violence, during the violence and even after the violence of 8 February.

At the same time, the 25 rioters who have been arrested so far were produced in the court today and sent to jail. Before this, medical examination of all the accused was done amidst tight security.

SSP Prahlad Narayan Meena says that social media platforms are being monitored by the social media cell. Along with this, CDR footage, etc., of the accused are also being examined, so that the miscreants can be caught as soon as possible. SSP says that police teams are working continuously to arrest the miscreants. It is being said that, on the day of the incident, many miscreants had absconded after committing the crime. The houses of many people were locked and their families were missing. Many police teams were also sent out to search for the miscreants.