At least one person was injured and vehicles were damaged in the stone-pelting in Bantwal.

Tensions run high in Dakshina Kannada stones pelted at RSS activists funeral procession
news Crime Saturday, July 08, 2017 - 19:03

Tensions ran high in Dakshin Kannada’s Bantwal as the funeral procession of slain RSS worker Sharath Madivala, was taken out from AJ Hospital in Mangaluru to Sharath’s hometown of Kandur in Sahipamunnur.

Hundreds of people, including activists of various pro-Hindu organisations took part in the funeral procession with black flags tied to their two-wheelers

A minor flashpoint emerged when the procession passed through BC Road in Bantwal, and verbal clashes escalated into stone-pelting.

“The miscreants were hiding behind Sultan Complex and the building next to it. As soon as the funeral procession passed by the complex, they began pelting stones. They began pelting stones at people in the funeral procession. One man was hit by a large stone on his head and sustained minor injuries,” said Dakshina Kannada SP, Sudheer Kumar Reddy.

He added that there some private and public vehicles were also damaged during the stone-pelting. “We had to resort to lathi charge to disperse the crowd. Miscreants have pelted stones at an auto rickshaw, a bus, three cars and a goods carrier.”

While there were some reports of a man being stabbed during the ensuing violence, the SP denied this claim. “Some people started breaking bottles and throwing them as well. A shard of glass broke and hit one man named Riyaz in the crowd. He began telling people that he was stabbed. But there was no stabbing incident,” the SP added.

The police have arrested and booked seven persons for rioting, causing communal violence and damaging property. “Former Mayor of Mangaluru K Ashraf, Suhail Khadak, Ashraf Kinaar Kudroli, CM Muttappa, Mohammad Hanif, H Meed Kudroli and Naushad Bandaru were arrested,” the SP said.  

Following the stone-pelting, shops and business across Bantwal shut down.

However, outside of Bantwal, the funeral procession was carried on smoothly, and Sharath’s funeral was completed without any other problems. National Highway 75 was shut down for over three hours to ensure that no untoward incidents took place. Police also undertook a massive deployment of over 2,000 personnel, including Karnataka State Reserve Police and Central Reserve Police Force personnel.

28-year-old Sharath Madivala ran a laundry service on BC Road, and was brutally attacked by a group of  men as he left his workplace on the night of July 4. The attack occurred despite prohibitory orders under Section 144 already being in place.

“Several leaders of several political parties used enlist Sharath's services. He knew many pro-Hindu leaders, which may be the reason why he was targeted,” a senior police officer told TNM.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 will continue in Bantwal, and security has been further tightened.

The police also requested the public not to believe rumours and aggravate the already tense atmosphere in the area. “There are so many rumours doing the rounds about the two communities committing atrocities against each other. We request everyone to refrain from rumour mongering,” SP Reddy added.

The tense Saturday also saw the BJP strongly attacking the government for the law and order problem in Dakshin Kannada.

Condemning Sharath Madivala’s murder, Udupi Chikmagaluru BJP MP, Shobha Karandlaje said that she had informed the Dakshina Kannada police of the possible violence that could erupt in the district.

“There is a Facebook page called Mangalore Muslims and we had received information that members of this group had threatened to cause clashes. I had informed the police about this on May 27 itself, but nothing was done. Congress Ministers Ramanath Rai and UT Khader are responsible for the deterioration of the situation in the district and I call for their resignation. This is because, despite the imposition of section 144, the violence continued and these Ministers have failed in their duty,” Shobha Karandlaje added.

Reacting strongly to Sharath Madivala’s murder, BJP state President, BS Yeddyurappa, called for an NIA probe into the RSS activist’s death.

“More than 20 RSS activists have died in the four-year Congress regime. Earlier it was Prashanth Poojary and Rudresh and now it is Sharath Madivala who was targeted. CM Siddaramaiah has failed to maintain the law and order situation in the state. Under Congress rule, many pro-Hindu activists have been murdered. The Centre should direct the NIA to probe this case,” Yeddyurappa added.

Other leaders of the BJP also attacked Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, accusing him of politicking and failing to maintain law and order.

CM Siddaramaiah told the media that he had instructed the Dakshin Kannada police to make every effort to return peace to the district.


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