By Shankar Raj*
Bengaluru/Delhi: Violence erupted in Hubballi in north Karnataka over a WhatsApp status poster by a youth that had derogatory comments on a particular religion, today. The State government imposed section 144 in Hubli till Wednesday April 21, 2022.
As the poster was widely shared on social media platforms, violence broke out with many stone-pelting incidents, particularly in Old Hubballi.
Though police arrested the youth, some miscreants started pelting stones at cops and their vehicles. Police had to resort to lathi-charge and even rubber bullets were fired to control the mob. They also opened fire with 13 rounds and lobbed the tear gas.
Dharwad deputy commissioner Nitesh Patil and Hubballi-Dharwad Police commissioner Labhu Ram told the media that over 40 persons were arrested in connection to the riots. “As many as 12 cops were injured in the incidents. A dozen vehicles, including police jeeps, were damaged by miscreants. We have imposed a prohibition order from 11 pm on Saturday to 6 am on Wednesday,” the commissioner said.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said no one should take the law into their hands. “State government would not tolerate such incidents” he lashed out. He also warned all the organizations which try to foment trouble. “The police are already taking action. Police will not hesitate to take stringent action against those who take the law into their hands. We will act against those who instigated it too. Let us not give political colours to it. We should look at it as a law and order issue. Then only such incidents will stop,” he said.
He warned organisations that try to foment trouble. “Police will not hesitate to take stringent action against those who take the law into their hands. We will act against those who instigated it too. Let us not give political colours,” he added.
Home Minister Araga Jnanendra suspected that the rioting was pre-planned. “We will not tolerate such incidents even if they belong to any religion. Miscreants had stocked stones before the incident. Police are probing this angle too. Now the situation is under control” the minister said.
Meanwhile, in Delhi, police arrested 20 people including two minors, following last evening’s communal violence during a Hanuman Jayanti procession in the Jahangirpuri locality. They were produced before a court. The police claimed it also seized three country-made pistols and five swords from the arrested men. Eight policemen and another person were injured in the clash between the two communities in the locality.
Police said among the arrested men were Aslam and Ansar. While Aslam allegedly shot at Delhi Police sub-inspector Medalal Meena, Ansarallegedly brought four or five people with him and started arguments with procession members near the mosque that resulted in stone pelting from both sides.
While the police recovered a country-made pistol from Aslam, it said it had also identified one more person whose video surfaced today afternoon showing him firing a pistol. The police said efforts were on to arrest him.
– with additional inputs from global bihari bureau