Arson at Uppinangady police station, nine personnel injured

Hundreds of PFI activists had gathered outside demanding the release of suspects in an assault case

December 15, 2021 12:53 pm | Updated 01:02 pm IST - MANGALURU

Uppinangady town in Dakshina Kannada district wears a deserted look on December 15, 2021 a day after the alleged arson by PFI activists in front of the police station.

Uppinangady town in Dakshina Kannada district wears a deserted look on December 15, 2021 a day after the alleged arson by PFI activists in front of the police station.

As many as nine police personnel, including Puttur Deputy Superintendent of Police Gana P. Kumar, were injured on December 14 when hundreds of Popular Front of India (PFI) activists went on a rampage outside Uppinangady police station demanding the release of persons arrested in connection with an assault case in Dakshina Kannada district.

Superintendent of Police Rishikesh Sonawane said Uppinangady town had witnessed group clashes, which turned into communal clashes, last week. “PFI activists had no business to lay siege to the police station as there are courts to decide on the police action [of earlier arrests],” he told The Hindu .

A statement from the DK police in Mangaluru said PFI activists began to gather in front of the station since December 14 morning after their colleagues Mohammed Zakaria, Mustafa and Hamid were summoned for questioning for the December 6 assault on two fish vendors in the town. On December 13 night, police had arrested Mohammed Sinan. Based on information given by him, they had summoned the others allegedly involved in the attack.

The December 6 attack was in retaliation to an attack on a group of persons at Ilanthila village near Uppinangady on December 5. Police had arrested Jayaram and some others for the December 5 attack.

PFI activists defied repeated warnings not to gather in front of the police station and shouted slogans demanding release of the accused. When the police released Hamid in the afternoon, PFI activists took out a victory march in front of the police station and in Uppinangady town before regrouping in front of the station demanding release of the others. They were joined by cadres from Puttur, Bantwala and Belthangady, who shouted slogans against the police and allegedly attempted to enter the station armed with sharp weapons. When Sub-inspector Omana and other women police personnel attempted to stop them, they were allegedly assaulted by the activists.

Police used canes to disperse the mob. In response, police claim, some of the activists took out weapons and empty soda bottles from an ambulance parked nearby and attacked them. Bantwala PSI Prasanna Kumar was stabbed on his palm while DySP Gana P. Kumar was injured in stone-pelting. The activists then retreated into a nearby mosque while continuing to pelt stones, damage vehicles and other public property.

Other injured police personnel include Circle Inspector Umesh Uppalike, PSI Omana, Kiran Kumar, Renuka, Sharief Nadaf, Sheshadri and Harish, according to a statement from the police.

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