Haldwani violence: Mastermind Abdul Malik arrested from Delhi

Six people had died in the February 8 violence

PTI02_08_2024_000415B Vehicles set on fire by miscreants over the demolition of an "illegally built" madrasa at Banbhoolpura area, in Haldwani, Uttarakhand | PTI

The suspected mastermind of the violence in Haldwani on February 8, which resulted in at least six deaths, was taken into custody by the Uttarakhand Police on Saturday.

Police said Abdul Malik, who was arrested from Delhi, has been brought back to Haldwani and will be produced before a local court at the earliest.

Two other rioters, too, were arrested on Saturday, taking the total number of people arrested so far in the case to 81. 

Police had formed six teams to search for Malik and his son Abdul Moid in different states and had also issued a lookout notice for the duo on February 16. Moid is still on the run.

What the case about

Violence broke out in Haldwani’s Banbhoolpura area on February 8 after the Municipal Corporation demolished a madrasa “illegally built” by Malik.

Malik had opposed the administration’s action and his wife Safia had gone to the court challenging the Corporation’s notice for the demolition of the madrasa.

The court, however, refused to grant them relief and the structure was demolished, triggering protests in the Muslim dominated area. 

Though the police tried to disperse the irate mob by resorting to a mild lathi charge and bursting of teargas shells, tension escalated. The mob set fire to several vehicles, including a police patrol car. By late evening, the mob had set ablaze the the Banbhoolpura Police Station. A curfew was imposed following this. 

Police had initially filed three FIRs. They later registered a fresh case charging six people, including Malik and his wife, with criminal conspiracy and illegal plotting, construction and transfer of land.

They were booked under sections 120B(criminal conspiracy), 417 (cheating) and 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of the IPC, he told reporters. 

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