Mixed response to bandh call

Mixed response to bandh call

The State-wide bandh call given by Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal in protest against the recent celebration of Tipu Sultan Jayanti that took a violent turn in Madikeri claiming the life of a VHP leader, received mixed response in the city on Friday.

The city returned to normalcy by evening. Though the bandh was largely peaceful, there were reports of policemen using mild force to disperse the crowd as a precautionary measure. Youths and other leaders, owing allegiance to right wing groups, force closed schools and colleges, shops and other business establishments, seeking support to the bandh call.

At KSRTC bus depot in Kuvempunagar, tension prevailed for some time as some protesters laid siege to it, to prevent the possibility of operating buses. Similar scenes was witnessed at Bannimantap and Sathagalli bus depots.

When the protesters refused to budge, 20 protesters were taken into custody and released at City Armed Reserve (CAR) police grounds. They were taken into custody at other depots and brought to police grounds, where they were let off later.

When some traders in Kuvempunagar tried to resume business, the protesters warned them against doing so. As a result, most of the commercial establishments downed shutters. However, passengers who were caught unawares at the city bus stand had to bear the brunt as the protesters stalled the movement of buses for an hour. Some protesters also blocked the roads in the heart of the city — like Sayyaji Rao Road, JLB Road, Ashoka Road — inconveniencing the road users. School students also had to feel the pinch.

Holding aloft a saffron flag, the workers of various pro-Hindu outfits took out a rally on the main thoroughfares of the city like K R Circle, Devaraj Urs Road and Shivarampet, before culminating for a public meet at Chikkagadiyaara complex.

Meanwhile, a youth was found filming the entire meeting on his cellphone camera. It angered up the right wing workers. They tried to snatch his cellphone. However, alert policemen rescued him. A protester, who tried to assault the youth, was taken into custody by policemen along with the youth for recording the meeting proceedings. This led to a tense situation for a while and the police used mild force to disperse the mob. When some workers tried to force close shops at Ramaswamy Circle, the policemen intervened and used mild force to disperse them. The bandh also received a mixed response in Mandya.
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