Shivamogga: Tensions prevail after two groups clash on Independence Day

Violence erupted after one group placed a portrait of VD Savarkar at a business hub near a mosque, and another tried to place a portrait of Tipu Sultan


Prohibitory orders have been issued in Shivamogga after clashes broke out between two groups in Shivamogga town of Karnataka, on Independence Day. Violence broke out after one group protested the display of a picture of Hindutva leader VD Savarkar at a local business hub, by trying to replace it with a portrait of Tipu Sultan.

According to the Times of India, Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), that prohibits a gathering of four or more people, has been imposed and will stay in effect till August 18. Moreover, schools will also remain shut today, not just in Shivamogga, but also in neighbouring Bhadravathi town. 30 platoons of armed police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) have been deployed in the area.

Trouble began when one group placed a portrait of Savarkar at a business hub in the Ameer Ahmed Circle area of the city. Soon another group protested, as the business hub was located right next to a mosque. This group in turn tried to place a portrait of Tipu Sultan at the spot, leading to an outbreak of violence.

Police had to resort to lathicharge to disperse the crowd. One person was arrested following a complaint by the Shivamogga City Corporation for allegedly forcing the staff of the business hub to remove the picture of Savarkar. In wake of the violence, local businesses downed their shutters.

Superintendent of Police Laxmi Prasad told NDTV, “We have imposed Section 144. Tension flared up so we had to resort to lathicharge.”

According to TOI, a youth, identified as one Prem Singh from Rajasthan, was reported stabbed at Gandhi Bazar, barely 200 meters from the spot. The youth has been admitted to hospital, and police are verifying if the attack on him was related to the clash. SP Prasad told Hindustan Times, “We will probe if the stabbing is related.”

HT also reports that later in the day, right-wing groups such as Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal held a flash protest in the city.


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