Tensions flared up in the Shyamganj area of Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, this afternoon (February 9) as clashes broke out between groups of individuals following the Friday prayers. Reports indicate that the altercation quickly escalated into violence, with individuals from the Muslim community pelting stones at shops in the vicinity.
The situation took a turn for the worse as a mob reportedly vandalised parked two-wheelers and assaulted bikers passing through the area. This wave of vandalism extended to damaging several shops, instigating panic among residents. Eyewitnesses claim that the assailants forcibly stopped motorcyclists and compelled them to dismount their vehicles.
Exclusive visuals from Bareilly, where Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan, who had threatened a civil war in Bharat just hours ago, was heard appealing to his followers to remain calm and go to their homes.
— Treeni (@_treeni) February 9, 2024
Responding swiftly to the escalating situation, a substantial police presence was dispatched to the scene in an effort to restore order. In an attempt to disperse the unruly crowd, law enforcement resorted to wielding batons.
Sources close to site suggest that the turmoil was instigated by the followers of an Islamic cleric, Taukir Raza, previously detained by police for issuing a ‘jail bharo’ (fill the jails) call in relation to the Gyanvapi case the day prior.
On Thursday, Tauqeer Raza Khan gave a ‘jail bharo andolan’ (fill the prison) call, asking his supporters to follow him in offering their arrest to police.
Tauqeer Raza Khan gave the call in protest against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s statement in the Assembly that Muslims should wilfully give up their claim on Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi and Shahi Idgah mosque in Mathura.
Thousands of Raza Khan’s supporters took to the streets after Friday namaz. Videos showed them jostling with the
Around 1,000 police personnel were on the ground to maintain the law and order situation. All important intersections, mixed populated areas, and entry and exit points of the city are being manned by police.
BIG BREAKING: After Haldwani, violence has now erupted in Bareilly, following Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan’s call for Islamists to start a “Jail Bharo Andolan.”
Raza Khan has been inciting Islamists to start a civil war for days now.
— Treeni (@_treeni) February 9, 2024
The tension in the Shyamganj area of Bareilly had been simmering since Friday morning before reaching a boiling point by evening. The district magistrate assured that a thorough investigation is underway and emphasised that appropriate actions will be taken.
Amidst the escalating unrest, the Bareilly district administration issued a plea for calm, urging citizens to refrain from taking the law into their own hands. Officials have encouraged individuals to promptly report any suspicious activity to the nearest police station and have cautioned against unnecessary congregations at intersections.
In a bid to maintain law and order, additional police personnel have been deployed, with heightened security measures implemented across major roads and intersections.
Islamists attacked police in Haldwani
On February 8, a disturbing event unfolded in Haldwani, Uttarakhand, where reports surfaced of stone-pelting and arson. The incident occurred during an attempt by authorities to demolish a structure, identified as a madrasa, constructed on government land without permission near the Banbhulpura police station. Tragically, four individuals lost their lives, and over 300 police personnel suffered injuries in the ensuing violence.
Numerous videos depicting individuals engaged in stone-pelting, gunfire, and widespread arson emerged, indicating a coordinated effort. Testimonies from police officials suggest that the attackers, identified as Islamists, expressed intent to set them ablaze.
Following the incident, the District Magistrate of Nainital shed light on the premeditated nature of the violence. She revealed that the Islamists had orchestrated the chaos, anticipating the authorities’ arrival to execute the High Court’s demolition order. Multiple mobs, armed with petrol bombs, confronted law enforcement, with some attempting to immolate officers in a disturbing escalation of aggression.