Bandh turns violent as protesters go berserk in Sirsi

Bandh turns violent as protesters go berserk in Sirsi

The bandh called by Hindu organisations and the BJP in protest against the death of Hindu activist Paresh Mesta in Honnavar turned violent on Tuesday.

The protesters have been demanding that those responsible for the death should be dealt with strictly.

Police resorted to lathi charge and fired teargas shells in the air to quell the mob. Protestors indulged in stone-throwing at many places in the town and also damaged shops.

Prohibitory orders had been clamped throughout the district since Monday evening. But, more than 500 workers of the BJP, Hindu Jagarana Vedike, Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishat and other organisations gathered at the Vikasashrama ground at 9 am and raised slogans against the state government.

The agitators demanded that they should be allowed to take out a procession till the office of the assistant commissioner.

As the police refused to grant permission, the slogan-shouting grew shriller. When the police tried to bundle MLA Vishveshwara Hegde Kageri and a few BJP workers into the police vehicle, the protesters began throwing stones at a bus. Police caned the protesters and fired in the air to bring the situation under control.

Three journalists suffered injuries in the stone-throwing. The window panes of two police vehicles and five buses were damaged. The mob dispersed and started throwing stones at shops and houses belonging to members of a particular community. Some of them dragged out materials in the shops and set fire to them.

Members of the other community launched a counter attack and also started throwing stones. Those in the mob snatched the phones from people trying to capture the incident on their phones and broke them.

It was post-noon by the time the police were able to bring the situation under control. IGP Hemanth Nimbalkar and ADGP Kamal Pant were present in the town.

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