Staff Reporter

Two cars in the compound on Devanga Hostel Road were set on fire

BANGALORE: A mob ransacked Hotel Geo on Devanga Hostel Road in Sampangiramnagar police station limits and set it on fire on Thursday.

Around noon, the police resorted to lathi-charge and lobbed teargas shells to disperse a violent crowd at the Kanteerava Indoor Stadium where the body of Kannada thespian Rajkumar had been kept for public viewing.

As the police chased the mob, hundreds of people started running towards Devanaga Hostel Road, off the stadium. A group of people barged into the Hotel Geo compound, torched two cars and set the hotel building on fire.

They also smashed the glass panes of the hotel, computers and television sets and ransacked the front office and the restaurant hall. Broken glass panes and flowerpots were strewn all around.

Eye-witnesses told The Hindu that the mob manhandled some Canadian and Sri Lankan tourists who were staying in the hotel. Miscreants reportedly made away with bags and other valuables belonging to the tourists. Some residents of the adjoining houses came to the rescue of the tourists and took them to their houses.

A woman was seen complaining to the police that her bag containing Rs. 50,000 in cash, credit cards and share investment documents had been stolen. The miscreants also hurled boulders and damaged several vehicles that were parked in the hotel compound. The police, with the help of the hotel staff, doused the fire.