Special Correspondent

Three pulled out of bus for talking to girls

The students had gone to Puttur collect data as part of their course

Police resort to lathicharge and lob teargas shells to disperse the clashing groups

MANGALORE: The police resorted to lathicharge and lobbed teargas shells to disperse clashing groups after in Puttur, about 65 km from here on Tuesday.

A few shops, a car and a KSRTC bus were damaged in stone throwing, according to eyewitnesses.

Independent accounts of the incidents said that a Hindutva vigilante group stopped a bus and pulled three boys out of it, attacked them for talking to girls belonging to another community. The boys and girls were reported to be management students of a college at Hampanakatta in Mangalore and had gone to Puttur to collect some data as part of their course. They were returning to the city after their work. The vigilante group is reported to have chased the bus in a van.

When they were taken to police station, a large group of people from the two communities gathered in front of the police station.

Clash

At one point of time, a clash ensued between the two groups, leading to lathicharge and lobbing of teargas shells by the police.

Soon, one community reportedly blocked the main road to Puttur from one side and the other community blocked it from the other side. All the shops and business establishments downed shutters. The town was mostly shutdown, according to eye witness account.

Dakshna Kannada Superintendent of Police A.S. Rao, who rushed to the spot with additional forces, confirmed that a KSRTC bus was damaged and four persons were arrested in this connection.

Ban orders

The police have clamped prohibitory orders till Wednesday and deployed striking force requisitioned from Mangalore.

Hindu and Muslim organisations have called for Puttur bandh on Wednesday.

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