More than 25 persons arrested; additional police forces, including RAF, deployed

Two persons were killed following a clash between people belonging to two communities at Vishnu Galli in Shahpur police station limits here on Sunday night. While one youth was killed following the clash, a 22-year-old doctor was found stabbed to death on Fort Road.

Another youth, who has been admitted to a private hospital, is said to be critical. The police have arrested more than 25 persons in connection with the violence. Two cars and a house were damaged, and a motorcycle burnt at different locations in Shahpur and Vadgaon in Shahpur police station limits.

The police have clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Cr. PC. early on Monday, which would be in force for the next 48 hours.

Additional contingents of the police, including the Rapid Action Force, have been deployed at Vishnu Galli and other communally sensitive localities in the city.

Deputy Commissioner V. Anbukkumar and Inspector-General of Police (North) K.S.R. Charan Reddy visited the graveyard where the last rites of the deceased were performed, and appealed to the people to maintain peace and harmony. They warned people spreading rumours even as unconfirmed reports of violence kept doing the rounds in the city.

A bandh-like situation prevailed, with all educational institutions, markets, commercial establishments and cinemas remaining closed. The NWKRTC suspended city bus services, and inter-State/inter-district bus services were diverted along the highways outside the city. Though some banks and government offices were opened, attendance was thin. Around noon, miscreants pelted stones at Central Bus-Stand right in front of Market police station. The police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the mob.

According to the police, trouble began when a group that was returning after attending a function burst crackers while entering Vishnu Galli.

As the group approached Shivaji Chowk, some youth belonging to another community objected to the bursting of crackers near a place of worship. This led to a heated argument, resulting in a clash and stone-pelting.

Asif Mohammed Mangaokar (28) of Chavadi Galli, adjoining Vishnu Galli, was seriously injured and died at the district government hospital early on Sunday.

The body of Chetan Patil, a doctor and resident Gadhinglaj of Kolhapur district, was found on Fort Road. He was reportedly on his way to the Central Bus-Stand to board a bus to Bagalkot. There were stab injuries on his body.

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