Violence erupts over Savarkar, Tipu photos in Karnataka's Shivamogga, Section 144 imposed

Updated on Aug 16, 2022 06:39 AM IST

Later in the day, right-wing groups, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal, staged a flash protest in the city.

The police had to resort to lathi-charge in Shivamogga.(ANI)
The police had to resort to lathi-charge in Shivamogga.(ANI)
By, Bengaluru

Karnataka Police on Monday imposed curbs under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in Shivamogga town after a clash between two groups over banners featuring Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue V D Savarkar and 18th Century ruler Tipu Sultan.

A senior police officer familiar with the matter said tension broke out after a banner featuring Savarkar was put up at Amir Ahmed Circle, in Shivamogga, as part of Independence Day celebrations.

“A group of Muslim youth objected to this and removed the flex banner. There was an argument between the two groups...” said the officer, asking not to be named.

The Muslim group removed the banner and tried to install a Tipu Sultan banner at the same location, leading to a verbal duel between the two groups, said the officer. This eventually resulted in a clash between the groups and a lathi charge from the police to control the situation.

“Hindu youths tried to set up the banner again at the circle, but police denied permission. We have confiscated the flex banner of Savarkar. The entire episode resulted in tension, so police were deployed across the town and the situation is under control,” the officer added.

Later in the day, right-wing groups, including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal, staged a flash protest in the city.

“Considering the prevailing situation, we have imposed section 144 in Shivamogga town and Bhadravathi (taluk). The police have the situation under control and we will be probing the case in detail,” said Shivamogga superintendent of police, Laxmi Prasad.

The officer mentioned above said a similar incident had taken place on Saturday in the city. An argument had broken out at a mall over a portrait of Savarkar. “We think today’s (Monday) incident could be a fallout of that episode. The first incident was resolved quickly, but on Monday it turned violent,” said the officer.

Two stabbing incidents were reported in the city on Monday, however, SP Prasad said they were verifying if these killings were linked to the clash. “We have information about the stabbings. They have been hospitalised. We will probe if the stabbing is related,” said SP Prasad.

Widespread protests had broken out across Shivamogga in February over the murder of 26-year-old Bajrang Dal activist Harsha. He was fatally stabbed on the night of February 20 in Bharti Nagar locality. At least 10 people have been arrested in connection with the murder so far and the case has been handed over to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arun Dev is an Assistant Editor with the Karnataka bureau of Hindustan Times. A journalist for over 10 years, he has written extensively on crime and politics.

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