Shivamogga: A youth was killed and many others seriously injured in a violent incident that occurred on the outskirts of Shivamogga in the aftermath of communal clashes erupted between Hindu and Muslim groups during the unity march taken out by the cadres of Popular Front of India (PFI) on Thursday.
Sporadic incidents of stone pelting, burning of vehicles and car were reported from Shivamogga on Friday too.
A group of armed persons attacked three youths who were heading towards Shivamogga from Tirthahalli on a motorbike near Gajnur. Vishwanath Shetty (32), who was injured in the attack, died.
Amidst the turmoil the funeral procession of Shetty was carried out. The family members had decided to conduct his final rites at Rotary Crematorium. Accordingly when the funeral procession passed near Sagar Pravasi Mandir few people who were part of process entered into an argument with a bike rider. The argument resulted in a brawl and finally ended up with the man’s bike being burnt. As the procession advanced further few shops and push carts located on Kuvempu Nagar were also burnt by the miscreants. Stones were also pelted at Mahaveer Circle and prayer hall. Few men also tried to assault the cops who tried to stop the miscreants from creating further damage. As the situation went out of control the protesters were caned by the police men.
On Friday shops and business establishments located in Gandhi Bazaar, Nehru Road, B H Road, Durgi Gudi were forcibly closed by the policemen. Vehicular movement including auto rickshaws and government run buses was minimal. The city which remained calm until 11 in the morning witnessed stone pelting incidents again. While few miscreants pelted stones at a lorry parked in Vinobha Nagar few others torched a bike parked in Kumbaragundi. Efforts were also made to burn a bike in Gandhi Bazaar. Policemen had to then resort to lathicharge in order to bring the situation under control.
The situation worsened to the extent that Tumkur District Superintendent Raman Gupta and In-charge Superintendent of Police S S Naik and other policemen were hurt in the incident.
On Friday when the hospital which had conducted the autopsy of Vishwanath Shetty went to his house to hand over the body, his relatives refused to accept it as they demanded compensation and also wanted the Deputy Commissioner to visit the house. Upon receiving information District In-charge Minister Kimmane Rathnakar arrived at the spot and declared a compensation of Rs 10 lac and a cheque of Rs 2 lac was also given to the family members on the spot.
Hindu organisations have called for an Shivamogga bundh on Saturday, February 21, as mark of protest. Following which holiday has been declared in schools and colleges.
Prohibitory orders have been clamped till February 25 and heavy police reinforcement have been posted in strategic places to prevent any untoward incidents.
So far 50 people have been arrested.