The quaint town of Haldwani in Uttarakhand, India, saw unprecedented turbulent violence on Thursday, February 8, as Jihad Watch reported on that day. A mob of Muslims descended on the roads and unleashed violence on police, civic authorities and civilians alike. Over 300 policemen have sustained severe injuries; the fanatics did not spare women officials, either. All this was a retaliation for the demolition of an illegally built Islamic structure. While Muslim locals claim it was a madrasa where their children studied and a mosque where they offered namaz, District Magistrate Vandana Singh stated that the demolished building was not recognized or registered as a religious building. Disturbing videos of this genocidal mob throwing stones and indulging in arson attacks and gun violence have emerged online.
Before we go into further details, we would like to revisit an article we published in June 2023. In the said article, we offered a thorough account of how Uttarakhand, the land of deities in the Hindu pilgrimage, was slowly and stealthily becoming the target of land jihadis who were illegally encroaching upon acres of government land. While the people of this peaceful state were not watching, Muslims from other states migrated, settled, and started building illegal structures. By the time authorities took cognizance of the sinister practice, Uttarakhand had the second fastest-growing population of Muslims.
When the state administration tried to free the land from these infiltrators, the minority-appeasing Supreme Court of India intervened and stayed the eviction on the disputed Indian railway land. The high court also granted an eight-week extension to authorities, urging the Indian Railways and the Uttarakhand government to devise a viable solution for rehabilitating the land grabbers at the state’s expense. The violence and bloodshed that Haldwani finds itself grappling with today is essentially a byproduct of the flawed judgment that emboldened the encroachers.
The ongoing disruption erupted following the demolition of an alleged madrasa and a mosque as part of a district anti-encroachment operation backed by an order of the local court. Violence broke out in the densely-populated Banbhoolpura neighbourhood when police and district administrators arrived at “Malik Ka Bagicha” to demolish the illegal structure.
The District Magistrate reported that many locals, including men, women, and children, flocked to the location and challenged the administration’s anti-encroachment squad. Seeing the demolition halfway finished, the crowd began throwing stones at the cops, and the altercation escalated. Other officials recount that the frenzied crowd stormed into the police station, threw petrol bombs at the cops and attempted to burn them alive, much like how their coreligionists had burned 50 Hindu pilgrims in the infamous Godhra Kand riots of 2002. Rioters also caused heavy damage to public property and set fire to vehicles. They targeted Haldwani Municipal Corporation workers, including the Sub-Divisional Magistrate. Tension in the city escalated after they burned down the Banbhoolpura police station, compelling the police to resort to lathi (baton) charges to scatter the crowd away.
The attacks were not limited to just government officials; Muslims also shot ordinary civilians who just happened to be passing by the roads where this tumult was taking place. A 23-year-old newly married Hindu man, Ajay, was one such victim; he was shot by Muslims while he was on his way to the market to buy medicines for his mother. The bullet went through his body, leaving his lower abdomen and spine critically wounded; he is currently battling for his life at the hospital while his family cries inconsolably.
The district administration implemented a curfew and authorized shoot-on-sight orders across Haldwani in order to safeguard public safety. So far, authorities have arrested five people and lodged three FIRs against 19 named and 5000 unidentified people. The state machinery, including the judiciary, had failed the Hindus and focused upon defending and protecting the Muslims through all these years, boosting the latter’s morale. Any preventive action taken now will only fall short of matching the damage already done.
Muslim forces have already started playing the victim card, using their women and children. As per their familiar script, they are placing children — little girls — parroting tutored dialogues against the government in front of the cameras of media houses that are known for running Islamic propaganda. However, these scripted videos fail to prompt any sympathy in a rational mind, given that the director general of police had mentioned kids’ participation in the riots.
Again, no Muslim with a petrol bomb can do the damage a Muslim with a pen can bring about. Apologists for Islamic jihad active on social media platforms and in mainstream media have begun to peddle fake stories of government atrocities supposedly perpetrated against the “marginalized minority” and its properties. Muslim-pandering media houses that expressed unbounded dissatisfaction over the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, a legally constructed establishment, are profusely defending the illegally erected structures. Some media houses are suggesting that the structures were not illegal, so as to further the narrative of Muslim victimhood in India. But officials had issued a notice to the management long ago, and they had failed to furnish any document to establish the legality of the buildings.