//RSS rally turns violent in Bangalore, one killed

RSS rally turns violent in Bangalore, one killed

Agencies,January 21, 2007
     
BANGALORE: One person was killed and three were wounded when police opened fire to quell communal violence during a RSS function in the Cantonment area on Sunday, two days after protests against the execution of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
 
"One person was killed and three others have received bullet injuries", Bangalore City Police Commissioner N Achut Rao informed.
 
Hundreds of people burned shops owned by a religious community and set vehicles ablaze here on Sunday, police and witnesses said.   
 
The violence occurred as activists moved through the city to join a rally organised by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh.
 
On Friday, thousands of demonstrators protesting against last month's execution of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, clashed with police and destroyed shops and cars in the city.   
 
Bangalore is home to about 1,500 global and Indian IT firms. Their operations were not affected by the violence as they are located on the city outskirts.
 
Police used teargas and batons to disperse the crowds and prohibition orders, restricting movement of four or more people together, were issued in central Bangalore.   
 
More than 2,000 police officers patrolled the affected areas as mobs targeted shops and vehicles, forcing the closure of some businesses, witnesses said.   
 
Police said there were no injuries but witnesses said about five people were wounded in stone-throwing incidents.   
 
“Prohibitory orders will be in force until Tuesday,” city police chief N Achuta Rao said.
 
He said there had been some arrests but did not give a number.   
 
Karnataka, of which Bangalore is the capital, is ruled by a coalition of the Bharatiya Janata Party and a regional party.
 
In Tirur, Kerala, an RSS activist was hacked to death and another seriously injured in an attack carried out by a six-member gang late on Saturday night, police said.
 
The RSS had called for a dawn-to-dusk shutdown in Malappuram district in protest against the incident and it was `partial' and `peaceful' so far, police said.
    
Ravi and Babu, the RSS volunteers, were waylaid by the gang near a school here and attacked with lethal weapons.
 
Local people who noticed the duo bleeding with serious injuries, took them to a nearby hospital. While Ravi was declared brought dead, Babu was moved to the Kozhikode Medical College hospital, police said.
 
The six-member gang, who reportedly came in three motorbikes managed to escape under the cover of darkness, they said.
 
A tense situation was prevailing in the district following the shutdown, police said.
 
The RSS has accused the National Development Front of killing its volunteer.
 
Even as the RSS took out a protest march in the morning, some workers allegedly attacked a passerby belonging to the minority community. The victim, identified as Mohammad Rafeeq, was taken to the Kozhikode Medical College hospital.