//Rowdies take over city: four killed, many injured in police firing

Rowdies take over city: four killed, many injured in police firing

Thursday April 13 2006 21:07

BANGALORE: Death and destruction ravaged Bangalore City on Thursday as four persons, including a police constable, were killed in police firing and mob attacks while scores were injured.

Looting was widespread as hooligans wreaked havoc on residences, petrol pumps and commercial establishments all along the path of Dr.Rajkumar’s funeral procession.

Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy confirmed that four people were killed – Muniraju (43) in police firing at Siddalingaiah Circle, a mechanic Gopal (25) and another unidentified person at Kanteerava Studios, and constable Manjunath Balladi during stone pelting near Kanteerava Stadium.

At least six persons were injured in firing at the studios. The police, who had been lobbing teargas shells by the dozens, were forced to open fire as the crowds following the procession went wild along the way and at the venue.

Among the firing victims was a 14-year-old boy, Abhilash, who received a bullet in his right leg as he was trying to escape from a bus, which had been stopped by a mob.

“My son was going to his grandmother’s house when the bus was attacked. He was injured in the firing and a Hoysala shifted him to hospital,” Abhilash’s father said.

Meanwhile, constable Manjunath, who was badly injured when hooligans stoned him near the stadium, died in a hospital in the evening. He was part of a battalion of fresh recruits from the Channapatna Police Training College coming to the city.

As the convoy of seven buses were approaching the stadium, three buses were surrounded by frenzied crowds and the recruits were attacked. At least 40 of them have been admitted at Bowring Hospital, having suffered stone hits.

“Many of us got down and ran, but some were hiding inside the bus. We managed to get out before the mob set fire to the buses,” a recruit said. Hooligans set fire to a hotel at Hudson Circle and also smashed buildings and vehicles around the stadium.

Fearing trouble, people had stayed indoors and very few vehicles plied on the roads. Buses kept off the roads while Commercial establishments, including petrol pumps, remained closed and only a few medical shops were open.

But the violence then moved with the funeral procession, wreaking havoc all the way. The bylanes of Sadashiv Nagar were pounded and hooligans attacked rows of houses, vehicles while ransacking shops and showrooms. The Metro Cash and Carry was plundered.

But more misery lay in store near Kanteerava Studios where police were attacked mercilessly. Petrol pumps were set on fire and police jeeps torched. The place resembled a war zone as injured people fell and hooligans continued to go on the rampage.

The miscreants were tear-gassed but they were not The Rapid Action Force was deployed and police fired at the crowds, felling several.

Police said that Gopal was a resident of Krishnanda Nagar but were not able to identify the other victim.