Police firing claims two lives in Mulky after BJP leader's murder

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FACE OF VIOLENCE: A shop that was set on fire during mob violence in Mulky, near Mangalore, on Friday.
FACE OF VIOLENCE: A shop that was set on fire during mob violence in Mulky, near Mangalore, on Friday.

M. Raghuram and Jaideep Shenoy

Mob resorts to violence during funeral procession; three-day curfew imposed

  • Superintendent of Police injured in mob violence
  • Bus services hit, several schoolchildren stranded

    M. Raghuram and

    Jaideep Shenoy

    MANGALORE: Two persons died and three were injured when the police opened fire to quell an unruly mob in Mulky police station limits near here on Friday.

    Four persons, including Superintendent of Police B. Dayananad, were injured when the mob attacked the police station. Following this, Dakshina Kannada District magistrate imposed curfew in Mulky police station limits for three days from Friday.

    The mob went berserk during the funeral procession of Sukahananda Shetty, general secretary of the Mulky Moodbdiri Assembly unit of BJP.

    The police identified the dead as Prem of Chitrapur village and Dinesh. Nagaraj and Suresh, who were injured in firing, are said to be out of danger.

    Mr. Shetty was murdered at Kulai by a group of five persons in the forenoon.

    Mr. Dayananda has suffered a fracture in his hand while the District Magistrate's car was damaged when the mob threw stones at it. Four shops were set on fire and many private vehicles were damaged.

    The Mulky police station has sustained heavy damage. The miscreants tried to torch the police station.

    The chain of events leading to the police firing and the death of a person began in the afternoon when the convoy of vehicles took the body of Mr. Shetty from A.J. Hospital at Kuntikana in Mangalore to his native place in Mulky - a distance of 35 km.

    The trouble started when the procession entered Mulky as some people threw stones at shops. The police first lobbed teargas shells and resorted to lathicharge. The police opened fire when the mob attacked the police station at Mulky.

    District in-charge Minister B. Nagaraja Shetty cut short his election campaigning in Chamundeshwari Assembly Constituency and returned to the city.

    BJP MLAs N. Yogish Bhat and Krishna Palemar called on the injured at the hospital.

    Inspector-General of Police H.N. Sathyanarayana Rao told The Hindu that the police had summoned five platoons of Karnataka State Reserve Police from Shiggaon in Dharwad district and from Udupi district. Four platoons of KSRP from Mangalore have already reached Mulky.

    As news of the attack spread, shopkeepers downed shutters in Surathkal, Kulai, Hosabettu, Haleyangadi, Kulur and Kottara. Buses going to Surathkal from Mangalore were stopped at Kulur and Panambur. Schoolchildren and those returning home to Surathkal from work were stranded. Many parents took their children home from school.

    The situation improved by evening as some shops in Surathkal and other places opened for business and bus services resumed. But after the police firing in Mulky, there was tension in the city.

    The BJP had arranged for a vehicle convoy when the body of Mr. Shetty was taken to his native place in Mulky. Because of bad road the convoy had to move at a slow pace and this disrupted the traffic on National Highway No. 17.

    Personal enmity

    A group of five persons, who travelled by a sports utility vehicle, assaulted Mr. Shetty at Kulai near here on Friday morning.

    Mr. Shetty, who has a marble business, arrived in his car at his shop when the attack took place.

    The police said the assailants, who arrived in a vehicle bearing Tamil Nadu registration, fled the scene. The vehicle reportedly hit the compound wall of a nearby building and a pole before going towards Kana via Honnakatte route. Mr. Dayananda said personal enmity could be the reason behind the attack.

    A group of persons, subsequently arrested, had attacked Mr. Shetty on October 2 when he was returning to Mulky from Bajpe.

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