Tipu row: tension grips parts of Karnataka

BENGALURU (TIP): Three days after a VHP sympathizer was killed during violence in Madikeri, right-wing groups blocked roads in several parts of Karnataka and blocked traffic as part of a statewide protest. Skirmishes and stabbings were reported from several parts of the state on November 13.

Chief minister Siddaramaiah ordered a magisterial inquiry by Mysuru deputy commissioner C Shikha into Tuesday’s violence that left two persons dead. AM Kunjappa, the stand-in Mysuru regional commissioner, had earlier been asked to probe the violence. Since a regional commissioner doesn’t have magisterial powers, the Mysuru DC, who is also a district magistrate, will conduct the investigation.

Two stabbings were reported on Friday night from Mogaveerapatna and Ullal in Dakshina Kannada. The two persons injured in the attacks are stable. Police have arrested four persons for stoning a place of worship at Bunder. They have been identified as Manju, Sushanth, Guru and Nitin Shetty.

Traffic on the Bengaluru-Mysuru highway was thrown out of gear as activists blocked it at different points. Protests were simultaneously held in Mandya, Srirangapatna, Maddur and other places. VHP and Bajrang Dal supporters disrupted traffic for an hour in Mysuru, Mangaluru, Tumakuru, Chitra durga, Shivamogga and Hassan districts, police said.

Most parts of Kodagu, Chikkamagaluru, Hassan and Dakshina Kannada districts came to a standstill. Bike-riding miscreants stabbed a youth on his back and hands at Golithottu in the Uppinangady police limits around 3pm. His condition is said to be stable. The victim was returning home after offering prayers when he came under attack, police super intending SD Sharanappa said. A sub-inspector reportedly suffered injuries in a stone-throwing incident at Puttur. Dakshina Kannada deputy commissioner AB Ibrahim declared a holiday for schools and colleges on Saturday too, and extended the ban orders till 10pm on November 15. In Hassan, Sri Rama Sena chief Pramod Muthalik was arrested hours after a dozen people were injured in stone-throwing incidents in the town late Thursday night. The district administration has clamped prohibitory orders on Hassan town for four days.

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Forests minister B Ramanath Rai announced a Rs 5-lakh compensation to the kin of Harish, a resident of Sarapady, near Bantwal, who was killed by a car-borne gang on Thursday. In Bengaluru, rightwing groups staged a protest in front of Town Hall to protest the CM’s decision to celebrate Tipu Jayanti from this year. The celebration was held on November 10.

The state BJP rejected the magisterial probe ordered by the CM. The opposition party demanded a CBI inquiry into the Madikeri violence, and a ban on Popular Front of India and Karnataka Forum for Dignity. The party said activists of these outfits were allegedly involved in the violence. “We will take up this issue in the legislature session starting next week,” said Jagadish Shettar. The CM blamed the BJP and RSS for the escalation of tension, and spiked suggestions of Kerala hitmen’s alleged involvement in the Madikeri violence.

The current weather is a perfect foil to tourism in Kodagu, Chikkamagalur and Hassan, but tourists are having second thoughts on travel plans. Industry sources blamed it on Madikeri violence and traffic disruption.

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