S.O. News service, Mangalore, 7 Oct 2006
The three day violence in Mangalore claimed two lives on Saturday afternoon when a person admitted in a private hospital succmbed to stab injuries he had suffered on Friday night. Another was killed when mobs attacked an ambulance and set it on fire at Polai in Bantawal near here. It is said that seven persons travelling in the ambulance to leave one Ibrahim to Bajpe Airport. Ibrahim succumb to death in a private hospital while 3 persons were badly injured.
The death news, however triggered more violence in the evening resulting in some more stabbing cases in the curfew-hit town of Ullal and Mangalore city, though nothing was confirmed by the police. Meanwhile, Director and Inspector General of Police B S Sial visited the violence-hit areas on Saturday.
Home Minister M P Prakash said in Bangalore that police were verifying the antecedents of the group in ambulance which was moving towards Bajpe airport. Asked when he would visit the trouble-hit areas, Mr Prakash said: “I would watch the situation and later decide about my visit.”
Addressing a press meet late in the evening, Director General and Inspector General of Police (DG & IGP) B S Sial who rushed to Mangalore on Saturday morning, said that the situation remained tense but fully under control.
“More police forces have been deployed in strategic areas and all arrangements have been made to restore normalcy in the affected areas,” Mr Sial said and added that 33 KSRP platoons, 13 DAR companies, tow Rapid Action Force (RAF) companies and one Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) company have been maintaining a strict vigil in sensitive areas.
When queried about the role of Students’ Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and Bajrang Dal, Mr Sial said: “There is no concrete evidence to prove it. However, I will not rule out or accept their role.”
The Home Minister had referred to the suspected hand of these organisations in the violence.
Meanwhile, the former Chief Minister M. Veerappa Moily has rapped Home Minister M.P. Prakash for his "irresponsible statements" about SIMI being involved in the communal riots in Mangalore and Ullal.
In a letter to the Minister, Mr. Moily said he had not expected such statements from a senior politician like Mr. Prakash.
Mr. Moily said the government machinery had failed to bring the situation in Mangalore and other areas under control. He attributed this to the lack of political will on the part of the Government.
The former Minister H. Vishwanath has urged Governor T.N. Chaturvedi to visit Mangalore and Chikmagalur.
Addressing presspersons on Sunday, Mr. Vishwanath, a veteran Congress leader, said Mr. Prakash appeared to have lost control over the law and order machinery in the two districts, where the Ministers in charge of the district belonged to the BJP.
"Mr. Prakash, who is a senior member of the Cabinet, looks helpless in the face of BJP's domination. The rule of law has been hijacked by anti-social elements in the name of Hindutva in the two districts," Mr. Vishwanath said.
However, Mr Sial refused to comment on Mr Prakash’s charges that the son of a prominent politician in Ullal was behind the communal trouble in Ullal area.
ADGP (Law & Order) Subash Bharani, IGP (Western Range) H N Sathyanarayana Rao and Superintendent of Police B Dayanand were present. The DGP and the other top police officials also visited all the affected areas later in the day.
Violence erupted in several parts of Dakshina Kannada district on Thursday during a bundh called by the Bajrang Dal in protest against cattle slaughter. Mangalore City and surrounding areas literally came to a standstill on Saturday. Barring police personnel, roads remained deserted throughout the day.
Though Mr Sial said movement of essential services were exempted in areas where the curfew has been imposed, supply of milk and newspaper was disrupted in several areas.
No bus or autorickshaw left or entered the City. However, railway and air passengers had a tough time.
Depending on the situation, the curfew may be relaxed between 9:00 am and 11:00 am.
“However the relaxation of the curfew will depend on the prevailing situation,” Mr Sial said.
He further added that if any violence erupts during the relaxation period, then the curfew may be extended by another two days.
Untill 6:00 pm on Saturday, as many as 180 persons have arrested, while 127 are in preventive custody.
A total of 94 cases have been registered in different police stations and 70 persons have been injured so far.