Harmony walk amid tight security today

With the District In-charge Minister B Ramanath Rai ready to lead a "Samarasyada Nadige Sauharadadedege" on Tuesday from Farangipete to Mani in Bantwal taluk, the police are on high alert in the district.

The walk for harmony has been planned in the interest of the people, to restore communal harmony in the district. The people in Bantwal taluk had witnessed communal flare-ups in the month of July and August. The idea of holding a walk for harmony was mooted when a peace meeting was held at the deputy commissioner's office after murder and assaults rocked Bantwal taluk a few months ago.

The walk will cover a distance of over 20 km. Hundreds of people from Congress, left parties, Raitha Sangha, DSS, Tulunadu Rakshana Vedike and other like-minded organisations will participate in the walk, which will commence at Farangipete in Bantwal at 9 am and conclude with a harmony convention at Mani at 5 pm.

To ensure that no untoward incident occur en route, the police have strengthened security. The police officials have directed the organisers to ensure that movement of traffic is not hampered following the walk.

In the backdrop of violence in Kumta during the BJP and VHP protest rally in Uttara Kannada, the Dakshina Kannada police have revised their security for the harmony walk. They are on high alert on the route of the harmony walk from Monday itself.

Ramanath Rai, in his recent press meet, had said that the walk would be started by flying pigeons. No slogans would be shouted during the walk to be organised to bridge harmony in Dakshina Kannada. He had also appealed to all those who believe in secular principles to participate in the harmony walk.

As Farangipete and surrounding areas had witnessed stone-pelting during RSS worker Sharath Madiwala's funeral procession on July 8, the senior police officers have directed the police staff to ensure that people do not gather in high-rise buildings during the harmony walk. "All the district police officers, eight KSRP platoons, DAR police personnel will be deployed for security. All the senior officers including myself will monitor the security," said Dakshina Kannada Superintendent C H Sudheer Kumar Reddy to DH.

Members of the JD(S) and the Dakshina Kannada Muslim Organisation, however, have not extended their support to the harmony walk.

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