Kumta: Right wing protestors pelt stones at police, set IGP's car on fire

Source: S.O. News Service | Published on 12th December 2017, 12:48 AM | Coastal News |

Kumta: Days after violence hit Honnavar, Uttar Kannada district's coastal town Kumta also saw tension when BJP and members of Sangh parivar organisations who took protest rally allegedly indulged in attacks on police officials and Muslim shops on Monday.

Protestors set Western IGP vehicle on fire and damaged other police vehicles after which police resorted to lathi charge and arrested 25 persons. The district administration also imposed  section144 to keep the protesters at bay. 

The road was blocked for more than four hours and tyres were burnt on National highway due to which the vehicles were stopped in Honnavar and Bhatkal in one side and Ankola on the other side. But soon additional police force was deployed and the situation was brought under control.

The whole region, especially Honnavar has been simmering with communal violence the past week after a local youth Paresh Mesta went missing. Mesta's body was found two days later in a lake. Police officials have already registered a case and are awaiting the post-mortem report. However, since the last few days, right wing activists have taken this opportunity to stoke communal tension in the region, claiming that Muslims are involved in Mesta's death. 

It may be noted that after Mesta's death, a Muslim truck driver Abdul Ghafoor Sunti has also gone missing with many suspecting it to be a revenge of Mesta's death by right wing activists. The drivers's union has submitted a memorandum to the Assistant Commissioner in Sirsi, regarding Sunti's disappearance and has demanded that he be located and returned home safely.

Right wing activists are also reportedly attacking any vehicle suspected of carrying Muslim passengers through the region. Several people have claimed that government buses were stopped, Muslims identified, beaten and looted.

After Mesta's dissappearance, several instances of clashes were reported between different groups, however, the region was slowly returning back to normalcy. Uttar Kannada Deputy Commissioner S S Nakul had assured that the region will return to complete normalcy by Monday and had also stated that authorities are keeping a close eye on social media to weed out anti-social elements.

The hopes of normalcy were dashed when a violent group of right wing protestors attacked the police and set IGP Hemanth Nimbalkar's car on fire in Kumta. Although the IGP escaped unhurt, the driver Sundar Raj, along with PSI EC Sampath Kumar suffered injuries. The right wingers also allegedly pelted stones on commercial establishments, targetting Muslim shops in the area, causing severe damage to  them.

The police resorted to lathi charge and tear gas shells to disperse the attackers. A total of 25 people have been arrested for the attack. The police has also impounded several vehicles.

IGP Western Range Hemanth Nimbalkar told that the situation is now under control and police have booked the cases against culprits.

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