Haldwani crisis: A Story of what happened Feb 8, 2024

Recounting what happened, Anas's brother Mohammad Aman said he and their father Zahid Hussain were at a construction site before the unrest began...

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Courtesy: ANI

Tension persists in Banbhoolpura following last Thursday's eruption of violence during a mosque and madrasa demolition drive. Streets lie empty, internet severed, and doors shutter at any police presence.

The deceased are Faheem Qureshi, 30, Zahid, 45, his son Mohammad Anas, 16, Mohammad Shaban, 22, all Haldwani residents, and 24-year-old Bihar native Prakash Kumar Singh per district administration.

Zahid's surviving son Mohammad Aman recounts that fateful day. Both he and his father were working at a construction site when violence broke out. Aman went home but Zahid stayed to finish tasks.

When Aman learned Anas was still outside, he left to find a friend stuck in the market. Anas followed to assist. Meanwhile Zahid returned home, heard Anas was missing, and went searching.

"My father was fatally shot in the chest near a dairy. A neighbor alerted me and I found him injured in the street. With help, we took him to a clinic where Anas had already arrived with a bullet wound," Aman said.

Doctors advised taking them to hospital but they could not arrange transport. Both died shortly after. The family finally carried them home for burial on Friday after postmortems.

Cousin Javed alleges Faheem Qureshi was murdered by neighbors for objecting to his vehicle being set alight around 7:30 pm. Faheem was shot in the chest and died enroute to hospital, leaving behind his mother, wife and two young children.

Hawker Gauhar claims his 18-year-old son Aris also died but was excluded from the list as they took him to Bareilly hospital. Aris didn't return from his garment shop job despite calls. Gauhar found him lifeless at a square and carried him home.

Fearing violence, they headed to Bareilly but Aris died on the way. "He was my elder son, my whole world," lamented Gauhar.

The families grieve their loved ones in a locality still reeling from the eruption of sectarian