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Torching of Ganesha ‘shamianas’ triggers violence in Raichur

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Agitated lot: Activists of pro-Hindu organisations staging a protest at Teen Khandil Circle in Raichur on Thursday.
Agitated lot: Activists of pro-Hindu organisations staging a protest at Teen Khandil Circle in Raichur on Thursday.

Staff Correspondent

Prohibitory orders clamped in the city; security tightened in sensitive areas

Ganesha idols not damaged

Bandh was observed in Raichur city

Raichur: The police resorted to lathi-charge at four places in Raichur city on Thursday when activists of pro-Hindu organisations turned violent during a protest against the burning of “shamianas,” where Ganesha idols were kept, at five places in the city on Wednesday night.

At least six persons were injured when a group armed with lathis and iron rods allegedly attacked people on Lingsugur Road, Arab Mohalla and Tipu Sultan Road.

The miscreants also attacked buses and other vehicles on these roads and near the city bus stand, damaging four motorcycles and six buses of the NEKRTC. They also set fire to a motorcycle and a bicycle.

In one case, the miscreants attacked Vijayakumar near the tehsil office, damaged his motorcycle and snatched his two-tola gold chain.

The district administration has clamped prohibitory orders in the city for an indefinite period. Security has been tightened in all sensitive areas in the city and also at places where Ganesha idols have been kept.

Tension gripped the city on Thursday morning after news of the burning of shamianas spread.

The shamianas were set on fire at Super Market Area, Jain Mandir Chowk, Harihar Road, the City Talkies Road and Station Road in the city. However, the idols were not damaged.

Thousands of activists of Bajrang Dal, Kendriya Gajanana Utsav Committee, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Hindu Rakshana Samiti staged dharna at several places in the city. They gave a call for a 48-hour bandh in Raichur city and demanded the immediate arrest of the culprits.

Following this, a total bandh was observed in the city. Commercial establishments, pharmacies, banks, and schools and colleges remained closed. The NEKRTC withdrew its services.About 5,000 activists, led by N. Shankarappa MLC and secretary of the Kendriya Gajanan Utsav; Raghotham Rao, president of the district unit of the Hindu Rakshana Samiti; A. Mareppa, president, and Dodda Malleshappa, vice-president of the Raichur City Municipal Council; A. Papa Reddy, former MLA, and Trivikram Joshi, member of the State Executive Committee of the BJP, and leaders of the VHP took out a huge procession and gathered at Teen Khadil Circle.

The leaders alleged that some groups of miscreants were trying to damage the secular fabric in the city. They demanded that the district administration order a detailed investigation and arrest the culprits.

Later, the protesters divided themselves into several groups and went round the city when news of the attack on the public spread. The police lathi-charged groups of people when they indulged in throwing stones at the shops of a particular community on Kirana Bazaar and tried to set ablaze vehicles parked in front of the shops.

The leaders demanded deployment of police in the troubled localities to protect innocent people.

They also spoke to V.S. Acharya, Home Minister, on telephone.

Deputy Commissioner Adoni Syed Saleem and Superintendent of Police B.A. Padmanayana held discussions with the leaders and appealed to them to cooperate with the district administration in maintaining peace in the city.

Condemned

Gulbarga Special Correspondent reports

The Gulbarga Ganesh Maha Mandal has condemned the torching of shamianas in Raichur.

In a statement here, president of the mandal, Baburao Jahagirdar, and general secretary Vajrakumar Kiwade said that the police should arrest the culprits and ensure that peace and communal harmony prevailed during the Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations.

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