Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: At least 10 people were injured in a clash between two groups of construction workers who threw stones at each other at Labourers’ Colony in Varthur police station limits on the outskirts of the city on Thursday.

A few policemen were also injured after the mob attacked them with stones and thrashed them when they tried to disperse it. Constable Venkataswamy suffered severe head injuries and broke four of his teeth in the attack. He has been admitted in a private hospital and is out of danger, the police said.

The clash was fallout of the alleged molestation of a woman by some labourers and the altercation that followed on Wednesday, the police said. Around 5,000 labourers from different parts of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and West Bengal live in Labourers’ Colony, where a leading construction company, Purvankara, has provided them with accommodation.

The police, who, it is said, were unaware of Wednesday’s incidents, rushed to the Labourers’ Colony on Thursday on learning about the clash there. The mob turned its anger against the policemen when they tried to take some of the unruly labourers into custody. Later, the police used their canes to scatter the mob and brought the situation to normality around 11.30 a.m.

There was tension again around 3 p.m. when Karnataka Rakshana Vedike activists arrived at Labourers’ Colony and staged a demonstration alleging that a Kannadiga woman was molested by migrant labourers from Bihar and West Bengal, the police said.

The vedike activists and a group of labourers blocked the road and staged a demonstration, before the police dispersed them. The Varthur police registered a case and arrested 60 people on the rioting charge.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (South East) Soumendu Mukherjee told The Hindu that Wednesday’s incident was a minor clash between some inebriated labourers and it was wrong to give a Kannadiga versus non-Kannadiga colour to it.

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