February 29, 2024

New Delhi: Life in Haldwani is gradually returning to normalcy after enduring the brunt of violence. However, those disrupting the peace are soon to face consequences. The police have apprehended 5 individuals involved in the violence, with their identities now revealed. The hunt for the mastermind, Abdul Malik, is ongoing, with 12 police teams dedicated to capturing riot suspects. Yet, it’s the common people who have borne the brunt of the unrest, leaving them fearful and seeking refuge elsewhere.

Residents of the curfew-hit Banbhulpura area in Haldwani express astonishment at the unprecedented violence. The owner of a local hotel recounts sheltering 17-20 stranded passengers during the chaos, highlighting the alarming sound of gunfire echoing through the streets. After four days of uncertainty, police intervention finally ensured their rescue. However, the aftermath leaves a scarcity of essentials like food and vegetables, disproportionately affecting the impoverished populace.

Amidst the turmoil, Anabiya, a 10th-grade student, frets over her impending board exams. With internet services suspended, essential tuition classes are disrupted, casting uncertainty over practical exams scheduled for February 12th. Anabiya’s father, Faisal, shares his concern for his children’s education, urging authorities to reinstate internet connectivity. The pervasive unease resonates among other board examinees in Haldwani, amplifying distress over academic preparations.

In the wake of the Haldwani violence, a mass exodus ensues as residents seek refuge elsewhere. Exclusive interviews with women from the Banbhulpura area reveal a community grappling with the aftermath of stone-pelting and arson. Locked homes stand as silent witnesses to the upheaval, prompting an exodus driven by intensified administrative actions. Amidst the turmoil, families are compelled to seek sanctuary with relatives, grappling with the ramifications of the unrest.

Residents of Malik’s Bagicha area recount familial arrests, prompting them to seek solace with relatives. Anxiety pervades as locals contemplate the ramifications of the imposed curfew. Maulana Muqeen Qasmi of the Indira Nagar Mosque refutes claims of external involvement, stressing the need for impartiality in addressing culpability. While acknowledging the need for accountability, Maulana advocates against indiscriminate targeting, emphasizing a measured approach to justice.