The violence had affected four villages near Nelliyadi

Violence in Karnataka villages over a Muslim barbers refusal to follow Hindu customImage for representation by © Jorge Royan /, via Wikimedia Commons
news Thursday, October 29, 2015 - 13:07

After a Muslim barber refused to close his shop on Tuesday “as per custom”, a few members of the Hindu community at Nelliyadi village, 70 km from Mangaluru in Karnataka, reportedly started a riot, reports Hindustan Times.

Hindustan Times reported that the situation was brought under control by the police within a few hours after the fight broke out. However, many were injured and property worth several lakh rupees was destroyed in the violence.

The police have arrested nine men from both communities, and imposed curfew in the area.

Speaking to HT, Bajrang Dal leader Ravi Ballya told that it started when the barber, Salman, did not keep his shop shut on Tuesdays which is “disrespecting local sentiments”.

“It is well-known that Hindus don’t cut their hair on Tuesdays. Salman was initially a nice boy. He used to respect our wishes and close his shop then. But in the last few weeks, he stopped doing that because some PFI (Popular Front of India) leaders filled his head with poison,” Ballya said.

HT quoted local Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Thukrappa Shetty as saying, “Uday Kumar, the leader of the barbers’ association, went to Salman’s shop and politely asked him to shut shop. But Salman and some others abused him instead. It was a clear provocation. What happened next was a spontaneous reaction from local Hindus who had been hurt by their behaviour.”

Superintendent of Police Dr SD Sharanappa told the newspaper that Ballya who came along with a mob not only attacked the barber’s shop but also other Muslim-owned establishments in the Nelliyadi Jumma Masjid complex. This in turn triggered PFI members to fight back.

Speaking to HT, Kempi Mustafa, the head of the local masjid, alleged that Kumar and Ballya were accused in criminal cases, and added that they had many a times disrupted communal harmony of coastal Karnataka.

Though available on the phone, Ballya was reported absconding by the police, said HT.

The violence had affected four villages near Nelliyadi – Kokkada, Patrame, Golithottu and Ballya.

This is an aggregated report from Hindustan Times.

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