The death of police sub-inspector Mallikarjun Bande in Yashoda Super Specialty Hospital in Hyderabad, early on Wednesday, sparked of bandhs and rasta roko in different parts of Gulbarga district.

An irate mob set fire to a North Eastern Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) bus at Khajuri, the village where Mr. Bande hailed in Aland taluk of Gulbarga district. They were protesting over the inordinate delay in bringing his body to Khajuri.

The police had to use mild force to disperse the mob in at least three places — Sardar Vallabhai Patel chowk, Nehru Gunj and near Chowk police station in Gulbarga city. The mob staged a rasta roko for more than seven hours from morning, disrupting traffic. Life came to a grinding halt in the city, with all shops, business establishments, schools and colleges, banks, petrol outlets and hotels downing their shutters as a mark of respect to Mr. Bande, who was injured during a shootout in Gulbarga last Wednesday.

The NEKRTC withdrew its city and other bus services as a precautionary measure from morning. Autorickshaws that had plied in the morning also stopped services later in the day.

Spontaneous rasta roko agitations were held in different parts of the city by various pro-Kannada and social organisations.

There were also demands for compensation of more than Rs. 1 crore to the family of the slain police officer, and sanctioning a petrol outlet in the name of his wife. There were also reports of rasta rokos and bandh in Sedam, Aland, Jewargi, Afsalpur and other places.

According to reports reaching Gulbarga, the doctors at the Yashoda Super Specialty Hospital declared Mr. Bande dead at 12.45 a.m.

His condition began deteriorating from Monday, after his vital organs showed signs of failing. His condition worsened by evening.

Prohibitory orders

The district administration promulgated prohibitory orders under Section 144 of Cr.PC till 6.00 p.m. on Thursday, with immediate effect.

Youths targeted IGP (North Eastern Range) Mohammad Wazir Ahmed and the Municipal Administration Minister Qamarul Islam, seeking their resignation for their alleged failure to protect Mr. Bande. They also protested against what they called the indifferent attitude of the government to provide specialised treatment to Mr. Bande in London.

Protests continue

Protesting against the prohibitory orders, the people gheroed the vehicle in which Superintendent of Police Amit Singh was travelling along with Yadgir Superintendent of Police Vamsi Krishna near the Sardar Vallabhai Patel chowk. Groups continued their protests throughout the city in spite of the prohibitory orders.

According to unconfirmed reports, the police resorted to mild lathi-charge in Aland town to disperse a crowd which was turning restive and started pelting stones on passing vehicles. Police said 18 platoons of the Karnataka State Reserve Police and 10 of District Armed Reserve police have been deployed in Gulbarga city and other sensitive areas such as Khajuri.

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