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Karnataka: Violence in Hubballi over WhatsApp status, 40 people taken into custody

The police said that about 40 people have been taken into custody following the incident.

Written by Kiran Parashar | Bengaluru |
Updated: April 18, 2022 2:33:34 am
According to sources in the police, many people gathered outside the Old Hubballi police station and staged a protest to demand the arrest of Abhishek Hiremath, who had allegedly posted a derogatory morphed photo.

Forty people were arrested and section 144 was imposed in Karnataka’s Hubballi city after protesters pelted stones outside a police station and damaged police vehicles over a derogatory social media post, widely shared online, on Saturday, police said. Four police officers were among several people injured in the incident.

According to the police, on Saturday evening, several people gathered and staged a protest to arrest Abhishek Hiremath, who had allegedly posted an objectionable and morphed photo on his WhatsApp status. Following a complaint at the Old Hubballi police station, the police took Hiremath into custody.

However, late on Saturday night, not satisfied with the police action, the protesters gheraoed the police station, pelted stones and damaged police vehicles. An inspector among four police officers were injured in the incident, police said. The police fired shots in the air and had to resort to tear gas shells to disperse the crowd.

The police said that about 40 people have been taken into custody following the incident.

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Hubballi- Dharwad city police commissioner Labhu Ram said that section 144 has been imposed till April 20.

On Sunday, CM Basavaraj Bommai said, “Police have taken action over a WhatsApp status post. However, there has been violence in old Hubballi. If anyone takes law into their hands, the police will take action. Don’t look at this incident from a political point of view but from law and order.”

JD(S) leader and ex-CM HD Kumaraswamy said incidents like this have raised concerns over peace and harmony in the city.

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