The section 144 was clamped in Haridwar after the Supreme Court asked the state government to put on record that no untoward situation would arise.
Dehradun: Hours after the announcement of a mahapanchayat of Hindu religious leaders in the Dada Jalalpur village near Roorkee, the administration on Tuesday clamped Section 144 in the area and said the event will not be allowed to be held as no permission for it was sought from the administration. The event was to be held on Wednesday to discuss the recent violence and stone-pelting in the village.
“The district administration has imposed Section 144 within 5-km radius of Dada Jalalpur village and a heavy police force has been deployed. The district magistrate and the SSP are personally monitoring the situation,” said additional district magistrate of Haridwar P L Shah.
The orders were imposed after the Supreme Court asked the state to place on record its position that there will be no “untoward situation” or “unacceptable statements” made during the event.
“We will hold the Secretary (Home), Chief Secretary and the IG concerned responsible if something untoward happens despite your assurance. We are putting it on record now… You know what are the preventive measures to be taken. Don’t make us say again and again,” a bench of Justices AM Khanwilkar, Abhay S Oka and C T Ravikumar had told Uttarakhand Deputy Advocate General Jatinder Kumar Sethi.
Haridwar Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Yogender Singh Rawat said, “Uttarakhand Haridwar district administration has imposed Section 144 on the gathering of more than five people in view of the proposed Hindu Mahapanchayat in Dada Jalalpur village of the Bhagwanpur (Roorkee) police station area. State convener of Kali Sena, Swami Dineshanand Bharti and his 6 supporters, who had arrived to prepare for the Mahapanchayat, were arrested late on Tuesday night.”
Meanwhile, talking to the media, Swami Anand Swaroop, a Haridwar-based religious leader and one of organisers of the event said the mahapanchayat will be held despite the prohibitory orders. He added, “The mahapanchayat was announced to discuss the police action and their failure to arrest the main culprits during the April 16 communal violence during a Hanuman Jayanti procession.”
On Hanuman Jayanti, several persons were injured and at least four vehicles were set on fire during the violence. So far, 14 people, all belonging to the minority community, have been arrested.
Swaroop also demanded the arrest of a local mosque’s Imam and blamed him for the violence. “We had given them (the authorities) a week’s time. We had already announced that after one week we will organise a mahapanchayat and everyone should accept whatever the mahapanchayat decides.”