North India

Communal tension prevails in Uttarakhand’s Haldwani; Imam of the mosque beaten

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Communal tension erupted in Uttarakhand’s Nainital district on Monday night after a group of people protested outside a house. This house is used by Muslims for prayer. The group alleged that they had constructed an illegal mosque at the site.

Police said that around 9 pm in Bhotiaparao area, 30 to 40 protesters gathered outside the house of a lawyer and started rioting. The house is allegedly built on Nazul land (land leased by the government for non-agricultural purposes)

Earlier, the officials had stopped the construction at this place and sealed the building. Right-wing activists alleged that Muslims were using the house for offering prayers.

Muslims say that due to the protest, they had to stop Taraweeh prayers. About 10 to 12 people, including lawyers and imams, stopped the prayer and came out. they also alleged that someone slapped Imam Sahib during the commotion. After that, the Muslims surrounded Haldwani Police Station and started shouting slogans against the police.

The protestors also blocked the Nainital highway outside the police station at around 2 am and demanded immediate arrest of the attackers. The police surrounded the gate from all sides to prevent people from entering the police station.

 The police also resorted to lathi charge to control the crowd. Haldwani City Magistrate Richa Singh and Kumaon Inspector General of Police Anand reached the spot. Nainital Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Pankaj Bhat called the Jama Masjid Imam Mufti Azam Qadri to placate the protestors.

 He also addressed the crowd through the loudspeaker mounted on the police vehicle and asked them to let the police do their work. The angry protesters calmed down and started going to their homes. SSP said that an FIR has been registered against 40 people on the complaint of Imam Muhammad Shahid.


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