Security has been heightened in Dakshina Kannada district as Kerala Chief Minister Pinrayi Vijayan is in Mangaluru on Saturday for the ‘Rally for Harmony’ programme.
Following the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), BJP, Hindu Jagarana Vedike and Shri Ram Sene warning of chaos in Dakshina Kannada if Pinarayi Vijayan “dared to arrive”, Section 144 was imposed in the entire district.
Additional Director General of Police, Alok Mohan told media persons that stringent action will be taken against those violating section 144 and “those creating chaos will be detained”.
The district, however, witnessed sporadic violence on Saturday after a lorry was set ablaze by right-wing groups in Bantawala taluk. The police have arrested four Shri Ram Sene and seven Hindu Jagarana Vedike activists in connection with this arson incident.
In another incident, right-wing activists pelted stones at a KSRTC bus in Mangaluru. Six persons were arrested in connection with this.
Meanwhile, the Sangh Parivar issued a call for a voluntary bandh on Saturday and also declared it a black flag day.
Vijayan arrives in Mangaluru
Vijayan, who arrived from Kasargod via train, received a grand welcome at the Mangaluru Railway Station by CPI(M) workers.
However, the CM’s security personnel and Mangaluru Railway Police indulged in a scuffle of who should provide security for Vijayan.
After a brief altercation, the CM’s security men were put into a separate vehicle while the railway police went with Vijayan to the India Medical Council Hall, where he addressed a gathering of CPI(M) workers.
Around 3,200 police personnel have been deployed for the Kerala CM’s security, 600 CCTV cameras and 6 drone cameras have been installed at the IMA Hall, Mangaluru Town Hall and Nehru Grounds.
“Except for the Rally for Harmony and the gatherings where the CM will be present, section 144 is applicable for all other areas of Dakshina Kannada. Also, security has been provided to Pre-University Colleges due to final exam,” ADGP Alok Mohan said.
Police personnel have been deployed at all PUC colleges in Dakshina Kannada and special buses have been arranged to pick up and drop students.
“First-year PUC students have their mathematics exam and since the examination is on a common date for all students across the state, it cannot be postponed. As the BJP, VHP, Shri Ram Sene and Hindu Jagarana Vedike have warned of unrest, security has been provided to all colleges in the district,” ADGP Mohan added.
After the meeting at IMA Hall, the Kerala CM will meet the members of the Beedi Workers’ Association in Mangaluru Town Hall. The Rally for Harmony will begin at the Town Hall and will lead up to Nehru Grounds.
Two days ago, unidentified persons had set ablaze the CPI(M) office located in Mangaluru’s Thokkottu.
On February 22, District BJP President Sanjeeva Mathandoor had pledged the party’s support for Saturday’s bandh called by VHP, Hindu Jagarana Vedike and Shri Ram Sene, opposing Vijayan’s visit.
The VHP on Monday, had released a list of BJP, RSS and other right-wing activists, who were allegedly killed by CPI (M) activists in Kannur.
“It is ironic that a public programme on communal harmony will be addressed by Pinarayi Vijayan, who is from a party, whose hands are stained with the blood of hundreds of innocent Indians. Pinarayi Vijayan’s constituency, Dharamadom, has witnessed a large number of politically-motivated murders. They have been killing innocents in the name of protecting the minority,” MB Purnaik, regional VHP head, had told media persons.
The right-wing organisations also appealed to the district administration to restrict Vijayan from making public appearances.