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Curfew to be relaxed in Shimoga

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Airing their protest:Deputy Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey and Superintendent of Police
Airing their protest:Deputy Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey and Superintendent of Police

Special Correspondent

Schools and colleges in the district to re-open today

SHIMOGA: Curfew is being continued as a precautionary measure in Shimoga, which was rocked by communal violence on Monday, and it will be lifted in a phased manner.

Curfew will be relaxed from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Schools and colleges, which had remained closed since Monday, will re-open on Saturday.

Deputy Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Pandey said on Friday that the city was peaceful.

He said the curfew would be relaxed in phases. KSRTC and private buses would operate from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, he said. Compensation of Rs. 1 lakh each was given on Thursday to the next of the kin of the two persons killed — one in police firing and the other in a mob violence — on Monday. Compensation for the injured and for those who lost their property would be decided soon, he said.

Mr. Pandey said that the loss to private property was being assessed and a clear picture would emerge in a day or two.

Superintendent of Police S. Murugan said that at least 140 people arrested in connection with the violence were produced before a magistrate who remanded them in judicial custody for 15 days.

They were shifted to the jails in Raichur, Bellary and Belgaum, he said.

At least 25 cases had been filed and arrests were still being made on the basis of video clippings, Mr. Murugan added. There was no evidence, he said, of the involvement of people from outside in the incidents.

Meanwhile, Mr. Pandey and Mr. Murugan were reportedly gheraoed in Seegihatti area by irate Hindus on Friday afternoon for not letting them visit temples on Thursday to offer prayers on the occasion of “Sankasthi”. They objected to the district administration's decision to relax curfew from 1 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. on Friday mainly to “facilitate” the Muslims to offer prayers at mosques.”

“This is nothing but discrimination,” they said.

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