3 arrested after clashes between two communities in Shivamogga


Three people have been arrested and police are on the lookout for a fourth after clashes between two communities in Karnataka's Shivamogga district led to violence. The two communities clashed Monday over the display of banners showing Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and 18th century ruler Tipu Sultan. The violence resulted in the stabbing of one person; one of the suspects was later shot in the leg as he attempted to attack policemen trying to detain him. "The arrested have been identified as Nadeem Rehman and Abdul Rehman, who are accused of stabbing Prem Singh (20)," a police official said. The third accused - Mohammed Jabi alias Charbi - is the man who attacked the policeman, who is being treated for his injuries.

"We'll take stringent action. Investigation is going on related to a stabbing incident that happened yesterday (where one was injured)," Alok Kumar, the Additional DGP (Law & Order) in the district, said.

"We're telling people to not come out unnecessarily. We'll seize their (accused) properties, we'll inform the same to DC. We've deployed enough police personnel. We already have 15 platoons and have also asked for more. Situation under control as of now," he said. A group of Muslim men objected to and removed a banner featuring Savarkar. The banner was displayed at Amir Ahmed Circle in Shivamogga as part of Independence Day celebrations. After the clashes large gatherings were banned in the district. Police resorted to a lathi charge to control the situation as right-wing groups - like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal - staged protests.

Two stabbing incidents were reported. At least one was linked to the clashes.

"We have information about the stabbings. They have been hospitalised. We will probe if the stabbing is related," Laxmi Prasad, the superintendent of police in Shivamogga, said Monday. A case of attempt to murder has been registered against Mohammed Zabi alias Charbi, who allegedly stabbed Singh. Cases have also been registered against the other accused. On Tuesday morning, as police went to arrest Zabi, he attempted to attack the cops. He was shot in his right leg and taken to a nearby hospital, where he is recovering, police said.