Shivamogga: Arson, stone pelting continue- holiday for schools
Shivamogga, Feb 21: After-shocks of the unity rally organized by Popular Front of India on Thursday February 19 here continue to be felt on the normal lives of the people of this town on Friday February 20. Vehicles and shops were torched at various places, and the situation remained generally tense and volatile.
In the meantime, condemning the incidents of violence which occurred on Thursday, pro-Hindu organizations have called for observing bandh in the town on Saturday. In view of this, the schools and colleges, for which a day’s holiday was declared on Friday, have been given an additional holiday on Saturday. Prohibitory orders have been extended till February 25, and police vigil has been tightened.
On Friday, during the funeral procession of Vishwanath Shetty, who had died after having been attacked by some participants of the programme on Thursday, the situation turned for the worse. Stone throwing incidents were reported from some places including the Congress office. Window panes of Congress office were shattered as a result.Policemen had to resort to caning to control groups indulging in unlawful activities.
On Friday, the town wore a deserted look. In many places, policemen were seen asking the merchants to close their shops in populated market places like Gandhi Bazar, Durgigudi and Nehru Road. Vehicular movement also was thin.
In the meantime, the police have detained 50 persons on the suspicion of their participation in disturbances.
There had been efforts to torch some shops on Friday. A motor bike was put on fire at Kumbaragundi Extension during the funeral procession, and an attempt was made to torch another two-wheeler near Basaveshwara temple, while stones were pelted at some vehicles at Vinobanagara. Some fruit stalls and shops on wheels were burnt down. Stones were also thrown at a prayer centre, after which policemen again resorted to lathi charge.
Some policemen including Tumakuru district superintendent of police, Raman Gupta, additional superintendent of police, S S Naik, and some policemen were injured in stone pelting.
On Friday morning, when the body of deceased, Vishwanath, was brought to his home after postmortem, the locals refused to accept the body. They demanded payment of justifiable compensation to the family of the deceased, and insisted on the arrival of district deputy commissioner at the spot. District in-charge minister, Kimmane Ratnakar, arrived on the spot, consoled the family members, and announced a compensation of Rs 10 lac on behalf of the government. He also handed over a cheque for Rs 2 lac on the spot, after which the people relented.