Situation under control, says Superintendent of Police

The Yadgir district administration has imposed Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code for three days in Yadgir city following an outbreak of violence after pro-Hindu organisations staged protests against the removal of saffron flags at a disputed spot near a temple atop a hillock on Sunday.

Five persons, including four police personnel, suffered severe injuries in indiscriminate stone-throwing by an incensed mob on Sunday night. All the injured were admitted to the Government General Hospital and their condition is said to be out of danger.

Trouble started in the evening after the police removed the saffron flags atop the hillock based on a complaint filed by Muslim groups stating that it was a disputed spot and erecting saffron flags on it was wrong. Taking exception to the unilateral decision of the police, hundreds of protesters from various pro-Hindu outfits staged a demonstration outside the Town Police Station near Gandhi Chowk. They said that the saffron flags were erected near the Bhuvaneshwari Temple on the hillock as part of the Navaratri Utsav.

Superintendent of Police Vamsi Krishna, who rushed to the spot, held discussions with the leaders of various pro-Hindu organisations and even as they were working out an amicable settlement, miscreants in the mob outside the Town Police Station started throwing stones on the police station and also the police personnel. They targeted commercial establishments and shops and forced them to down their shutters. They ransacked a bangle store by breaking the wooden door near the Gandhi Chowk and damaged two cars and two motorcycles.

As a precautionary measure, the district administration clamped prohibitory orders and stepped up security. Additional police forces from Gulbarga and Raichur districts have been rushed to the city. Mobile patrolling has been increased to keep vigil on the situation. Mr. Krishna said that the situation was under control now. Almost all shops and hotels had downed their shutters fearing violence on Monday. Lawyers supporting the pro-Hindu groups boycotted courts in Yadgir on Monday.

Mr. Krishna said that five cases have been registered in the Town Police Station in connection with the incident and 20 people have been arrested so far.

Inspector-General of Police (North-Eastern range) Mohammad Wazir Ahmed, who rushed from Bangalore to Yadgir, visited the spot and conducted a review of the law and order situation in the district. Deputy Commissioner F.R. Jamadar urged the general public not to give credence to rumours and maintain claim and cooperate with the district administration and the police to restore normality.

More In: Karnataka | National