Violence in Belgaum suburb claims two lives

Schools, colleges, business establishments down shutter; vehicles stay off road

Two persons were killed as violence broke out between members of two communities here in the early hours of Monday. Police arrested 34 people connected with the incident and the situation remained tense. Prohibitory orders were imposed on the city during the day.

As tension prevailed, there was undeclared bundh with schools, colleges and business establishments remaining closed. Buses, autos, and other transport vehicles remained off the road.

The situation in the city and surrounding areas had remained tense since Friday midnight after prayer sheds installed for Ramzan at Peeranwadi village on the outskirts of the city and two temples were damaged at Kamat Galli and Azad Galli respectively.

Elaborate police deployments were made in the village and prohibitory orders were imposed there and parts of the city to bring the situation under control. Police had arrested eight people in connection with the incident.

However, violence broke out again after Sunday midnight. Superintendent of Police Sandeep Patil told Deccan Herald that Lokamanya Social and Cultural Centre had organised prize distribution for tableaus presented during the Shivaji Jayanti celebrations.

The winners carried their prizes in procession and burst crackers.

The participants in one of the processions were refrained from bursting crackers in front of a mosque at Vishnu Galli at Vadgaon suburb by a group of people, leading to friction between the two groups. The police acted swiftly and dispersed the mob.

After midnight, groups burst crackers again. They assaulted people of another group, leading to the death of Asif Mangaonkar (28), a resident of Vadgaon. A total of 24 people were arrested in connection with the violence and death.

They confessed that their attack was in retaliation to the incident at Peeranwadi and the arrest of their friends. Ten people from the other group, too, were arrested, Patil said.

Meanwhile, Dr Chetan Patil of Gadhinglaj in Kolhapur district in Maharashtra and a post-graduate student of S N Medical College in Bagalkot, was stabbed to death by unidentified persons on Fort Road while he was on his way to the bus stand to board a bus to Bagalkot Sunday midnight.

His death was kept a secret by the police, but came to light later.

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