Bantwal: Bitumenization of the highway in progress at Kalladka has been making it difficult for the smooth movement of traffic over the past a few days.
The tendency of most motorists is to break discipline and compete with each other in reaching early. In the process, an autorickshaw driven by Kiran and a private car were involved in a minor collision.
Enraged by the incident, local auto drivers including Ravi Bhandary of Kalladka, Yatiraj, Jagadish of Amtoor, Dheeraj who works for a gas agency in B C Road, Naveen who is a bakery employee and others gathered together and are said to have assaulted the driver of the car.
Tauseef, the brother of a restaurant-owner tried to intervene and bring about peace. He too was assaulted. Soon another group of youngsters assembled and began a counter-attack.
The police arrived and they had to resort to a mild cane-charge to disperse the crowds.
One of the groups pelted stones at a bus and a passenger is said to have been injured. For safety, most traders downed their shutters, leading a virtual bandh.
Additional police forces were commissioned and now the situation is said to be under control.