Tension prevailed in Chikmagalur on Saturday as a large number of people took to the streets following alleged desecration of a religious place in the town.

It all started when people found the severed head of an animal in front a religious place close to Mahatma Gandhi Road during their morning prayers.

Deputy Commissioner B.S. Shekharappa rushed to the spot and assured the protesting people that action would be initiated against the perpetrators.

A delegation met Mr. Shekharappa and submitted a memorandum. On learning about the incident, a large number of people gathered on M.G. Road and demanded action against those who had “desecrated” the religious place. A section of them raised slogans demanding closure of all business establishments in the town and said Chikmagalur bandh should observed for a day to condemn the incident.

At the same time, people from another community started gathering at the nearby Hanumanthappa Circle.

The police, anticipating trouble, resorted to lathi charge to disperse people from both the communities. Dozens of people were injured in caning. Busy roads in the town were deserted and footwear was strewn all around after the police dispersed the crowds.

Prohibitory orders

The district administration has clamped prohibitory orders till Sunday midnight in Chikmagalur taluk to prevent any untoward incident. The Deputy Commissioner has issued an order banning processions, meetings, carrying weapons and gathering of four or more than four people at a place in the taluk till Sunday midnight, according to a press release.

Mr. Shekharappa told presspersons, “The district administration will take steps to nab those who threw the carcass near the religious place. The police have booked a case,” he said.

The district administration held a peace committee meeting later in the day.

Inspector-General of Police (Western Range) C.H. Pratap Reddy visited the town and took stock of the situation.

Ravi D. Channanavar and Boralingaiah, Superintendents of Police of Hassan and Udupi, respectively, were also in the town. Police forces, drawn from the neighbouring Hassan and Udupi districts, have been deployed in the town.

The district police have deployed striking forces at sensitive areas in the town.

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