An ill-directed cricket ball sparked a spat between the local youth and an Andhra Pradesh Reserve Police Force contingent on Friday in a Karnataka town, leading to the death of a man.
The ball struck one of the two buses parked at a corner of the Dharmastala Grama Panchayat playground. Dharmastala is a pilgrim town about 360 km west of Bangalore.
The 90-odd policemen, who were going back home from poll duty at Karkala and Belthngadi in the Naxal-dominated areas along the West Coast, reportedly got angry when one of the players asked for the ball.
A spat broke out and a constable opened fire, killing Athaiah (35) on the spot and injuring three others.
Inspector General of Police (Western Range) Gopal Hosur said the firing was followed by mob violence. The police had to resort to lathi charge, leaving 15 injured. “The town is tense as people have set up road-blocks and are pelting stones at passing vehicles. We have rushed additional forces and have also ordered an inquiry,” Hosur told HT.
This is the second such incident in the area. On April 25, a dozen policemen from Kerala were arrested for misbehaving on the beach on the outskirts of Mangalore. They were also listed for security duty in Dakshina Kannada during the elections.