Curfew has been imposed in parts of Mangaluru until midnight on Saturday (December 21) after violence in protests in the city. Police at Urwa, Bunder, Barke, Kadri, which falls under Mangalore Central Subdivision made the announcement about curfew using loudspeakers.
Tension prevailed in Mangaluru as police clamped down on protesters who were agitating against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). Videos from the spot show shots being fired in the air by the police, who also used tear gas and lathicharge to disperse protesters.
Over 100 protesters who had gathered near the bus stop near the Deputy Commissionerâ€™s office on Thursday were lathicharged by the police after an argument broke out between the protesters and the police.
Protesters had defied prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPC which was imposed late on Wednesday night. Section 144 prohibits the assembly of more than five persons. Many of the protesters were holding placards which read 'withdraw CAA and NRC' and 'CAA is against Constitution'.
According to reports, some protesters hurled stones at the police. PTI reported that protesters donning helmets were seen hurling stones at policemen. The police then began to lathicharge the protesters.
Dramatic visuals also showed police surrounding protesters who had assembled on the streets and hitting them with lathis. The police were also seen running after protesters, hitting them and throwing lathis at them. Several protesters were injured.
Former Mayor Ashraf tried to convince protesters and requested them to withdraw their protest. However, the angry protesters allegedly attacked him. Ashraf suffered serious injuries and was shifted to hospital by the police. Ashraf is a former Congressman who switched to JD(S) in 2018.
Stone pelting was also reported at Hamilton Circle, Central Market and State Bank in Mangaluru. Reports also stated that Mukyaprana Temple and Bunder area witnessed stone pelting.
The Karnataka state police have been called in from neighbouring districts, including Udupi.
The Samastha Kerala Sunni Students Federation had called for the protests but had later postponed the protest, in the wake of the police imposing Section 144. However, many had gathered as messages regarding the protest had already been circulated on WhatsApp.
After the clashes, security was beefed up at the Deputy Commissioner's office and other areas of the city to avoid untoward incidents. A quick reaction team has also been deployed in the city, sources said.
Section 144, which was imposed from Thursday morning, will be in force till December 21 midnight.
Several other parts of Karnataka also witnessed massive protests against the CAA, including state capital Bengaluru, where hundreds of people were detained for violating Section 144.
With inputs from Story Infinity