Report filed by Suresh Bhat of PUCL, D.K. District.
On 18.10.2006 accompanied team no: 4 towards Suratkal, Soorinje etc.
1. KOTTARA CHOWKI AREA
National Super Traders
This is one of the several shops in a 16-year old, two-story commercial complex – Sai Kripa. The shop has 4 partners and 11 employees – all Muslims.
Observations:- A big provision shop with three shutters. Shop counter glasses shattered. The third shutter exhibits damage due to fire and on the inside big chunks of plaster from ceiling have fallen. The switchboard is completely burnt. There is black soot everywhere inside the shop. Apparently, third shutter was forced open and some inflammable liquid poured through that opening into the shop and then set on fire.
Other shops in the same building and in neighbouring buildings belonging to other communities were not targeted.
Parameshwara Poojary, owner of the building, narrated:
On the night of 4.10.2006, a watchman in a neighbouring workshop heard sound of dog barking, got up and saw 3 persons running away. Next morning, on 5.10.2006, Parameshwara Poojary went to the Urwa Police Station and lodged a complaint. After he came back, at about 11:30 to 12 noon, around 50 to 60 persons on motorbikes came and broke the counter-glasses in the shop and the STD booth and sped away.
Maqbool (?), one of the partners, narrated:
On 4.10.2006, on the day of the Karnataka bundh, the response was quite poor and most of the shops and establishments were open. Their shop was also open during day. At about 7:30 pm they closed shop and went home. At about 3:15 in the early morning of 5.10.2006, he received a phone call about the fire in the shop. He immediately called the police and fire brigade. On 5.10.2006, in the morning hours, as they were trying to assess the extent of damage and clean it up, around 50 to 60 persons arrived in around 25 motorbikes, formed 4 groups and 3 groups (consisting of local persons) approached the persons in the shop and warned them to close the shop. The 4th group then pelted stones at the shop damaging the glasses of STD booth and the shop’s sales counters. This happened within about 3 minutes and then the group sped away in the direction of Kuloor. Police reached the spot about 2 minutes later but made no effort to chase the group or inform the squad ahead. Police have registered a complaint; estimated loss is around Rs.10 Lakhs.
ABCO Steel Center
This is a multi-story building on NH17
Owner: Mohammed Aslam Kazi.
Found several shattered colored glass panes in the front façade of the building.
Huge glass walls of the Cauvery Ford showroom on the ground floor were not targeted.
ABCO Steel Center corporate office is located on 5th floor. The manager, Javed, was out but was available on the phone. He narrated:
The exact time of attack is not known. Complaint registered with police in which two persons have been named. Unwilling to reveal the names to the fact finding team.
Shutter has suffered damage due to fire.
One wooden table inside partially burnt (50%). Switchboard partially burnt.
On the night of 4.10.2006, some miscreants tried to set fire to the shop but were not successful. They returned on the night of 7.10.2006 and this time managed to inflict some damage by forcing open the shutter and setting fire after pouring some inflammable liquid.
2. KAVOOR JUNCTION AREA
There is a cluster of petty shops and stalls all adjoining each other
A small shoe stall
Observations: the shop is completely gutted and repair work was in progress.
He (owner?) narrated:
On the night of 5.10.2006, some miscreants set fire at about 10:45 to 11 pm. He received information at around midnight. Complaint registered with police; estimated loss is around Rs. 3 Lakhs.
Located next to the first shoe stall.
Observations: completely gutted.
Bharat Auto Works
A scooter repair shed.
Located next to Ideal Footwear
Observations: Extensive fire damage. Tools and tackles fully destroyed.
Police complaint registered; estimated loss around Rs. 70000.
Located behind the above two shops
Fire from the other three adjoining shops partially damaged one wall. The fire brigade forced the front door open in order to douse the fire. Door has suffered damages.
Police complaint registered; estimated loss around Rs. 5000.
Similar incidents of arson had occurred here during the disturbances in the wake of Babri Masjid destruction in 1992.
3. BAIKAMPADY INDUSTRIAL AREA
Mohammed Salih Jumma Masjid
A 11-year old building. Glass of main door is shattered. Switch board behind is partially damaged. Glasses of 6 windows also found shattered.
His son- Badruddin (16 years)
Narrated by one Abdul Rahman who works in a factory behind Steel Udyog:
On 5.10.2006, at about 7:30 pm, around 25 persons on around 8 motorbikes came to the mosque and attacked the Wastad and his son with swords and other lethal weapons. The father was hit on the leg and the son was hit on hands, legs and back of head. When they started running, the miscreants chased them up to Baikampady.
The miscreants broke door and window glasses, damaged one water-filter, threw 4 volumes of Holy Quran down and took one vacuum cleaner away.
The old mosque here was burnt down during the disturbances in the wake of Babri Masjid destruction in 1992.
One of the attackers has been identified as one Sandeep, a pigmy collector from Angaragundi.
4. TADAMBAIL AREA
A Private House
Door number: 12-55.
Owner: Moidin(aged 45), works as manager of local SCDCC Bank.
Location: on NH17 opposite Punjabi Dhaba.
Observations: There was no one in the house. Observed muddy hand impressions on wall and main door. Three window glasses found shattered. Wooden frame of windows also damaged apparently windows hit with some sharp weapon.
Narrated by ?:
Moidin has been attacked, has suffered injuries and is admitted in AJ hospital.
Moidin was attacked also during the Suratkal riots some years ago.
The occupants of house no:19-49 on opposite side, said they have no idea about the attack on Moidin’s house.
5. CHOKKABETTU AREA
A private house.
Location: next to the railway tracks.
Narrated by (?):
Men of the house are working in Saudi Arabia.
A Hindu mob had collected on one side of the tracks and the Muslims had grouped on opposite side.
There was stone throwing by Hindu mob and the local policemen present could not control the mob. Situation was ominous and was brought under control only after a police van with reserve police from Madikeri arrived.
A small Provision Store
Owner: Balakrishna Shetty.
Shutter damaged, roof tiles damaged, shop ransacked
Narrated by Balakrishna Shetty and Rukmayya Shetty (owner of BR Bakery nearby):
In this 8th block there are around 300 houses with 85% Muslims and the rest Hindus..
On 5.10.2006 at 11 am, a 300-strong Muslim mob came and attacked the shop and his house at the back, damaging the roof tiles, shutter and window glasses. The mob returned and repeated the attack 3 times.
BR Bakery employing around 12 workers, also suffered some damage.
Satyajit, Venu, Ganesh Hosabettu of Hindu Jagaran Vedike, visited them at around 4:30 pm.
One Krishna Poojary at Agaramelu has been hit on the head.
House of Mrs Vedavathy
Mrs. Vedavathy narrated:
Her house suffered some damages. Around 25 roof tiles were damaged during the exchange of stone throwing between the rival groups.
Narrated by one Altaf:
Tension had started to build up at about10:30 am on 5.10.2006. Earlier at 10 am a regular fish vendor of the area had come on his usual rounds but was warned by a Hindu woman customer to get away fast. One police jeep with 3 policemen arrived at 11 am. Meanwhile the Hindu mob had swelled to around 1000 and the Muslim mob to around 200. Later an additional 15 policemen arrived.
Kishan, son of Balakrishna Shetty whose shop and house was the target of attack, is a member of Bajrang Dal. After the trouble he has gone away to Mumbai.
A Private House
Owner: Abdul Rahman (aged 45) used to work in the Gulf.
On 5.10.2006 at about 9:30 am, children came running and shouting to close all doors and windows and the main gate. A 200-strong mob (Hindu) gathered on the opposite side of railway track was pelting stones in their direction. Some stones fell on the roof slab. At this time there were no policemen present. At 12:45 pm again there was stone throwing.
At 4:30 pm there was more stone throwing. The mob was around 500-strong now. Several houses suffered damage in the stone throwing.
Police tried unsuccessfully to disperse the crowd. It was only after leaders of both sides got together that the situation was brought under control.
He and one Ataullah of Chokkabettu Agaramelu who had gone to Suratkal to pay electricity bills were beaten up by a crowd and told to go back.
6. SOORINJE AREA
A small Jewellery Shop
Shop no: 1-144(D) in the Badriya Complex.
Owned by one Bhasker Acharya and Keshava Acharya.
This shop has been ransacked and suffered damages to the shutter and glasses of showcases.
Narrated by one of the partners (name?):
On 5.10.2006 their shop was attacked and the jewellery was looted and the showcase glasses of the showcases in front and on the wall inside, were shattered.
A jeep belonging to one Ahmed Bava was blocked on the road and this was the cause of trouble. Estimated loss around Rs. 10 Lacks.
Local panchayat has disbursed cash compensation of Rs.________.
A tiles shop and an iron & steel shop have also been attacked and looted.
Mohiuddin Jumma Masjid
The hundi was found damaged.
The evening Iftar had just concluded and there were around 100 people in the mosque.
Narrated by one Abdul Jaleel (aged 50), a cloth merchant:
On 5.10.2006 at about 3:30 pm, at Shibarooru, a boy, Ahmed (aged 26) was driving a pick-up van. Some 5 to 6 persons stopped the pick-up, beat Ahmed and tried to throw him into a gutter. A witness, a Hindu woman raised an alarm and the miscreants ran away and Ahmed escaped serious trouble. On hearing of this incident, some young Muslim boys were planning to retaliate but were dissuaded by other senior members of the community.
Narrated by one K.M.Usman, ex-president of local panchayat:
He ‘phoned to the police and lodged a complaint against Krishna, Vinod, Vijay, Dinakara, Balu, Satisha, Naveena Puchadi, Mukesha, Bharata (from Kote and Puchadi of Soorinje). Two policemen, Maniyani and Harish came to the spot. Krishna was handed over to the police. But no cases have been booked against Krishna and his associates; instead cases have been booked against the 6 complainants K.M.Usman, Farooq, Riyaz, Shabir, S. Hamid, and Habib
In the evening of the same day, after Iftar, while devotees were returning home, a 300-strong mob of Hindus from Krishnapura, Pakshikere, Panja, Katipalla etc., arrived with lethal weapons and started attacking the Muslims. Some 13 persons were injured. All the Muslims rushed back to the mosque. Injured were taken to Unity Hospital in Mangalore. The hundi also has been damaged by the mob.
The panchayat president had arrived on a bike and started talking of peace and compromise. But within a short time, a 300-strong mob of Hindus gathered at the spot. Police who were at the spot went away before the mob attacked and came back only 15 minutes later.
When friends and relatives went to Unity Hospital at around midnight to visit the injured persons and to give them food, they found a group of Bajrang Dal men surrounding the hospital. They tried to prevent their entry.
Nagaraj Shetty,in-charge minister for the district who came to Soorinje next day visited only the Hindu areas but not a single Muslim area. Krishna Palemar had shown the decency of visiting people of both communities.
_____________ ___ ____________
On 19.10.2006 accompanied team No: 1 (Ms.Rashmi & Mr.Shashikant) to Kutharu.
1. Shopping complex being built by the Baharat Aided High School.
One wing of the building completed and occupied by 4 shops – Sushma Furniture, Surya studio, Smartman Tailors, and Utsav Canteen. Found shutters of all shops broken open, shops looted and set on fire. In Smartman Tailors shop one could see some burnt cloth and soot-covered walls and floor. Significantly the school building itself situated behind has not been touched by the mob.
2. Swabira Bagh
A house on the side opposite the Kutharu Temple.
Adjoining the house is a shopping complex –Swabira Complex- with 6 shops.
Owner-B.Ismail aged 60, a retired person. Has 7 children-one girl and 6 boys-3 boys working in the gulf countries, 1 boy completed B.B.M. course, 1 boy owns a provision store and another Mohammed Firaz works with him in store.
Mohammed Firaz, aged 22, narrates:
On 6.10.2006 at about 2:40 pm saw a 150 strong mob coming towards their house from the temple opposite. The family closed all doors and windows and huddled inside with fear. The mob came inside the compound, broke all the glasses of a Tata Indica car KA19MC 2244, shattered around 59 window glasses and also damaged a AC split unit and released the gas. Meanwhile, the family members had tried to call Ullal and Mangalore police immdtly on seeing mob. The police came at about 3 pm.
Police recorded complaint;damages estimated Rs.1l lacks. Compensation received – Rs.20000.
After this incident family locked house went awayfor a few days.
3. Rajarajeshwari Siddhivinayak Temple, Kutharu Kshetra
Secretary Nandakumar Babbukatte narrated all incidents and he was later joined by President Jagannath Salian.
(Vice president Gopala Kutharu is an active office-bearer of Bajrang Dal and during the 3 days of trouble he was reportedly out of station, in Mangalore.)
On 6.10.2006 at about 1.20pm a 500-strong mob came from the Madani mosque area with swords, sticks, stones, soda bottles etc. Fortunately almost all the devotees had left earlier and at this time there were only around 25. They locked the main front door of the temple. Meanwhile the crowd shouting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’,’Allahu Akbar’ and ’Jihad’ damaged 8 vehicles which were in the compound. Main door frame which was attacked with swords, has some minor scratches on outside but one small piece of wood on the inside was splintered which he claimed to have been already repaired. Steel cupboard that was near the window was hacked with sharp weapons causing deep dents and some holes.
Several plastic chairs were damaged and some chairs were carried away.13 idols on the outside damaged. Two persons were injured when they were attacked with swords. Estimated loss is about Rs.13 lacks.
Hearing this commotion some 1000 Hindus from the town came running to the temple. Temple trustees who were present there tried to pacify the mob but a part of the crowd went to Swabira Bagh opposite. Later police came and dispersed the crowd. Police have registered cases and in general behaved well.
President Jagannath Salian also says “ in Ullal small shops of Muslims were set on fire by the owners themselves with intention of maligning police. There are two mosques nearby and since they belong to people of different political parties they have differences among themselves”.
4. Sowmya Fancy Store
Owner-Umesh Belchada, member of CPI(M)
On 6.10.2006 at about 1.30 pm, a 400-strong mob arrived with lethal weapons such as stones, swords etc, broke glasses, ransacked the store, looted it and then set fire before departure. Two employees ran away on seeing mob. Police complaint lodged; estimated loss is Rs.6 lacks
Mob tried to do similar damage to Selection Gift Center located on the opposite side but the employees managed to extinguish fire. Extent of damage is less.
Police did not respond to phone calls. Came to the spot 1 hour after incident.
There was one police van in the vicinity but it had left the area 5 minutes before the mob arrived.
Police have not arrested miscreants. Many of them are freely roaming around.
5. Kuvathul Islam Mosque and Madrassa
Located at Madani Nagar.
Narrated by Imam Abdullah Madani:
On 6.10.2006 around 1000 people inclusive of locals and outsiders were gathered in the mosque for noon prayers. At around 1:25 pm, while namaz was going on, they heard noise of shattering of glass and found some window glasses shattered by stones. On rushing outside they could observe a bike and a jeep with occupants in Bajrang Dal uniform, speeding away.
At about 12:45 pm, a police van was standing in the area but at the time of the attack the van was missing.
Imam claims that the police themselves sent the Bajrang Dal men numbering around 60 to attack the mosque.
A mob of muslims collected and they ran in search of miscreants.
Police registered complaint only when Imam was accompanied by Mr.Hyder Parthipady?
Peace in the area was disturbed after the temple came into existence; significantly Gopala Kutharu (vice president of temple) is an active member of Bajrang Dal and also its district convener.
The other mosque Masjid Ur Rahman is a branch of this mosque. Prayers are held there everyday except Friday special, which is held only in the main mosque.
6. House of Mohammed Sharief
Narrated by Nebissa the wife and her old mother Bipatumma:
On 7.10.2006 at about 8 am around 20 men in khakhi dress and faces covered with colored cloth, came and asked for the men in the house. Mohd Sharief who worked in Kuwait has been in India for the past 8 months but on 7th he was away at in-laws’ place. They threatened Nebissa the wife and her old mother Bipatumma. When they couldn’t find the men the crowd broke the television screen and showcase glasses and window glasses. When the women raised an alarm they ran away. Suspect them to be Bajrang Dal men masquerading as police. According to them a couple of other houses in the area were also attacked.
Narrated by Mohammed Arif and his friends:
They were in mosque on the 6th when stones were hurled at the windows of the mosque. They ran towards the Masjid Ur Rahman when they heard that it was under attack. When they reached the spot they found a 400-strong crowd with lethal weapons gathered near the mosque but on seeing the Muslim crowd they ran away.
7. Pavan Tailors
Owner- K.Vasu Gatti.
He is ex-president of Kutharu Temple, now a member.
A 1000-strong mob with lethal weapons came and attacked his shop. Name board of shop was damaged and a number of roof tiles were broken.
Complaint has been registered with police; estimated loss is Rs.10000.
Owner is one among the 11 main accused in the complaint registered by the other party.