Shivamogga (DHNS): A 32-year-old man died after a group attacked him with lethal weapons on the outskirts of Shivamogga on Thursday evening, hours after violent clashes erupted between Hindu and Muslim groups during the unity march taken out by the cadre of Popular Front of India (PFI).
Vishwanath was riding towards Bhadravathi when the attackers waylaid him near Gajanur on the outskirts of Shivamogga. Just then, four people travelling by a jeep saw him collapse and rushed to his rescue. They too sustained minor injuries in the attack but managed to take Vishwanath to a hospital in Shivamogga where he died later, the police said. It is unclear whether the attack was communally motivated.
Earlier, tension began when a group of men threw stones at PFI activists during their march at Ameer Ahmed Circle around 4:30 pm. Nearly 900 PFI activists from various parts of Shivamogga district were taking out the march to mark the outfit’s founders’ day. During the march, PFI cadre are said to have raised slogans against a Hindu organisation. Police had to cane the troublemakers to prevent the situation from going out of control.
At least two people were injured in the violence. In addition, two bikes, over a hundred pushcarts and several shops were set on fire by the rioters. Some cars parked on BH Road 0were pelted with stones. All shops located at Shivappa Nayaka Market, Gandhi Bazar, Nehru Road, BH Road, Seegehatti and Azadnagar put up the shutters following the violence. Cinema halls and business establishments in other parts of the city shut up shop after 6 pm. The PFI convention was later held at Science Ground amid police bandobast.
Police later banned assembly of people under section 144 of the CrPC. As many as 600 police personnel from Davangere and Haveri districts were deployed in the city’s sensitive areas. Eight platoons of KSRP have also been deployed.
M Nanjundaswamy, IGP, Eastern Range, in-charge Superintendent of Police S S Naik and Deputy Commissioner V P Ikkeri have been camping in Shivamogga. Naik told Deccan Herald, “The situation is under control. We are looking into the footage of the unity march to find out those responsible for the violence.”
Schools and colleges in Shivamogga have declared a holiday on Friday.