In the wake of the violent episode in Haldwani, where a frenzied Muslim mob clashed with police and civil authorities during a demolition operation near the Banbhulpura police station, Maulana Tauqeer Raza, the chief of the Ittehad-e-Millat Council (IMC), has ignited controversy with his inflammatory statements. Addressing the incident, which involved the demolition of a structure, purportedly a madrasa, erected on government land without authorisation, Tauqeer Raza issued a stark warning to the administration, threatening violence.
Expressing indignation over the bulldozer action in Haldwani, which saw conflicting narratives labelling the structure as either a madarsa or a place of worship, Tauqeer Raza directed his ire towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. He vehemently declared that the Muslim community would not tolerate any further demolition activities. Furthermore, he asserted that they were prepared to resort to violence, claiming it to be their constitutional right, and vowed to eliminate anyone who dared to harm them.
हल्द्वानी हिंसा पर तौकीर रजा का सीएम धामी और पीएम पर बयान, कहा- जो हम पर हमला करेगा, उसे मार देंगे, बुलडोजर बर्दाशत नहीं किया जाएगा#Lucknow #HaldwaniRiots #HaldwaniNews #HaldwaniViolence #UttarakhandPolice | @thakur_shivangi @priyasi90 pic.twitter.com/dPa2g8QCQ6
— Zee News (@ZeeNews) February 9, 2024
Maulana Tauqeer Raza’s history of contentious remarks and incendiary rhetoric is well-documented. Previously, on February 3, he had issued a threat of civil war following the announcement of Bharat Ratna for Lal Krishna Advani by the central government. He cautioned against escalating religious tensions, attributing the relative calm to the patience exercised by Muslims, but warned of dire consequences if Muslim youths were to lose control, suggesting the potential for widespread unrest.
Tauqeer Raza’s controversial statements are not isolated incidents. He has a track record of aligning with the Congress party and has consistently issued warnings of potential riots. In April 2022, he warned of a nationwide protest if perceived injustices continued, emphasising the potential uncontrollability of Muslim anger. Similar warnings were issued in January 2022, where he expressed fear over the consequences of Muslim youth losing patience and resorting to vigilantism.
Friday Frenzy mob in Bareilly
Tensions flared in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, on Friday as supporters of Islamic cleric and IMC leader Tauqeer Raza took to the streets in opposition to Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.
The cleric has been apprehended by the Uttar Pradesh police, and authorities are closely monitoring the situation. Enhanced security measures have been implemented as demonstrators continue to assemble on the streets, expressing dissent through slogans aimed at the chief minister.
Approximately 1,000 police personnel have been deployed to uphold law and order, stationed at key intersections, densely populated areas, and city entry and exit points. Raza Khan had announced on Thursday his intention to surrender in protest against Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s remarks in the Assembly, where he suggested that Muslims voluntarily relinquish their claim on the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi and the Shahi Idgah mosque in Mathura.
On February 8th, 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 madarsa, 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.