With the reduction in the city bus services, Aboobacker Saddiq, a resident of Katipalla in Surathkal, had a hard time on Friday reaching his place of work at a mall in the central business district of Mangaluru.
He had to walk for nearly a kilometre on Katipalla Main Road and hitch a ride on a motorcycle for another 500 metres after which he got into a KSRTC bus bound to State Bank in the city.
“My manager called me around 12 noon and asked me to report to duty. I somehow managed to reach the workplace today,” he told The Hindu and added that he was worried about returning home, which is in a communally sensitive area, at night.
Mr. Saddiq said that with the district administration restricting non-essential movement between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. until August 1, his problem would get compounded as more private city bus services were likely to be cut down during this period.
Bad memories of 1998
Similarly, Jamalasab Jaladagi, a roadside vendor, is concerned about his trade if the communal tension escalates. “As a young boy, I have seen in 1998 the flower stall of my father being ransacked by rioters at Kutthar. I get vegetables daily from Dharwad and my house of five members runs on the earnings from the sale of these vegetables. I only hope the situation does not get worse,” Mr. Jaladagi said.
Mr. Siddiq and Mr. Jaladagi are among several daily earners in the city who are worried over the murders of 18-year-old Masood on July 21, 32-year-old Praveen Nettaru on July 26, both in Bellare, and of 22-year-old Mohammed Fazil near Surathkal New Market on Thursday, and their impact on law and order.
On the first day of the prohibitory orders in the Mangaluru police commissionerate limits on Friday, life was normal in the city while most shops and establishments in Surathkal, Kana, Krishnapura, and adjoining areas remained closed. Some private buses began plying from Surathkal only after 10 a.m. after the last rites of Fazil were over.
The police had barred the movement of people in about 100-m radius of Kana-Krishnapura-Bala Main Road where Fazil was murdered. Traffic from the main road was diverted to the road adjoining Govindasa College.
City buses plying to Surathkal, Mulki, Bajpe, and adjoining areas saw poor occupancy. Occupancy was poor throughout the day, said Ashok Ashel, president of Karavali Okkoota of Dakshina Kannada Bus Operators’ Association. Mr. Ashel said of the 110 buses, 95 were operated on Friday. For the next two days when restrictions would be in place, services would be cancelled after 8 p.m.