Communal tension in Chikmagalur

Communal tension in Chikmagalur

Communal tension in Chikmagalur

Scores of people and security personnel were injured when the police resorted to caning to defuse a communal flare-up in the town on Saturday.

Tempers ran high after members of a community found the carcass of an animal at the entrance of their place of worship in the morning.

Soon, they gathered in large numbers and staged a protest. Some of them set tyres on fire on M G Road and called for a shutdown, saying their religious sentiments had been hurt.

A mob went around forcing the closure of shops on M G Road and I G Road. Enraged, another group of people launched a protest on the other end of M G Road. The situation turned tense and the district administration enforced prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, asking the protesters to disperse. However, the appeal went unheeded and the two groups came to blows.

The police resorted to caning to disperse the protesters on M G Road. Several citizens and policemen were injured in the melee. The town witnessed an undeclared bandh with sc­hools and colleges, commercial establishments and cinemas pulling down their shutters.

Additional police forces and platoons of the Rapid Action Force have been deployed on the main streets of the town. Security at places of worship has also been beefed up.

Prathap Reddy, Inspector General of Police (Western Range), Hassan Superintendent of Police Ravi Channannanavar and other senior police officers are camping at Chikmagalur. More police forces have been summoned from the neighbouring districts to maintain law and order.

Deputy Commissioner B S Shekharappa said prohibitory orders would be in force till Sunday midnight.

Home Minister K J George said Section 144 had to be imposed. However, the situation is well under control, he added.

 The SPs of Hassan and Udupi were also rushed to Chikmagalur town to help the local police to monitor the situation, he added.