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Mangalore tense but under control: police

The district was tense but the curfew brought the situation under control and without untoward incidents.

india Updated: Oct 07, 2006 22:53 IST

The coastal district of Mangalore, hit by communal clashes on Thursday, was tense but the curfew brought the situation under control and no untoward incidents were reported Saturday, police said.

"Though tension prevails in some sensitive areas of Mangalore city and parts of district, the situation is under control," Karnataka Director General of Police BS Sial told reporters.

"The imposition of curfew since Friday has forced the troublemakers to go under cover. We have beefed up security with additional reinforcements," he added.

One person was killed and about 90 were injured in the clashes that erupted in Mangalore, Udichi and Ullal towns in the coastal area Thursday.

Shoot orders and a ban on gathering in public places have kept the people indoors, with schools, colleges, shops and markets remaining shut.

The trouble started when Bajrang Dal activists protested against illegal transportation of cattle to slaughterhouses in the city. The situation turned violent when a mini-truck carrying cattle to a slaughterhouse got involved in two road mishaps late Thursday, injuring the cattle severely.

When police failed to take action against the truck driver, a mob gathered and threw stones, leading to clashes between groups of Hindu and Muslims and violence spreading to rural areas in the district.

A daylong strike call the next day, given by the Shree Rama Sena and Bajarang Dal, turned the situation worse, with clashes, arson and looting reported from Konje and Ullal towns.

Karanataka Home Minister MP Prakash blamed some Hindu organisations and the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) for the violence.

"The role of SIMI is suspected in the violence. We also have reports that VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad), Bajrang Dal and Hindu Jagaran Sangha were involved in inciting the mob to turn violent," Prakash told reporters in capital Bangalore.

Prakash said some fundamental organisations in both the communities were instigating trouble in the coastal belt. "They are the mischief makers. We are keeping a watch," he added.

"A decision on extending curfew beyond Sunday will be taken depending on the law and order situation," Sial said.