Authorities continue demolition of houses in northern Indian state after communal clashes

Authorities continue demolition of houses in northern Indian state after communal clashes

Demolition drive began on Friday when district administration along with forest department removed encroachments

By Shuriah Niazi

NEW DELHI (AA) - Authorities in the northern Indian state of Haryana on Saturday continued the demolition of houses and shops, which they believe belong to those responsible for communal clashes earlier this week.

The clashes took place in the Muslim-majority Nuh district during a procession by the right-wing Hindu groups on Monday.

Later, violence was also reported from adjoining areas, including Gurugram, and six people, including two policemen, were killed.

Krishan Kumar, the Nuh district police spokesperson, told Anadolu that 145 people have been arrested so far.

The demolition drive began on Friday in Nuh, when the district administration along with the forest department removed what they called “illegal encroachments” from municipal and forest land.

Kumar declined to comment on the demolition drive.

Citing security reasons, a local told Anadolu on condition of anonymity that authorities were “targeting one particular community through this demolition drive. The notice was given just an hour before demolition.”

However, Ashwani Kumar, a sub-divisional magistrate (SDM), said that notices were already given to the owners of the demolished structure and claimed that the owners of some structures were also involved in the violence during the procession.

He said that more than 45 “illegal constructions” along with 13-15 “temporary illegal structures” have been demolished, according to the Indian Express newspaper.

On Friday, Anil Vij, the state home minister told reporters that 202 people have been arrested in connection with violence across Haryana.

The state is being ruled by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is accused by rights groups and opposition leaders of marginalizing Muslims in the country, but the party has denied the claim.

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