The death toll in Tuesday’s violence at Madikeri over the celebration of Tipu Sultan’s birth anniversary rose to two as a 27-year-old daily wage earner, identified as Shahul Hamid K N, succumbed to bullet injuries on Wednesday night.
On Tuesday, D S Kutappa, a 67-year-old organising secretary of the VHP, was killed in the violence. The VHP has called for a statewide protest on Friday.
Hamid, who worked at a vegetable shop in Siddapura in Kodagu district, is suspected to have been hit by a bullet while he was travelling in a truck carrying pro-Tipu Sultan campaigners near Madikeri.
Tension prevailed in Siddapura as Hamid’s body was brought for the final rites, which were conducted under tight police security.
The medical report has identified the cause of death as a bullet injury in the head. It is, however, not clear who fired the bullet. It is suspected that it was a random bullet fired at the convoy of pro-Tipu Sultan campaigners.
The Madikeri police said they have registered an FIR against Kanti Cariappa, Apputta, Ponnathmotte Ravi and others who are members of right-wing groups.
Police said an eyewitness Janfeer, who is Hamid’s relative, had reported that about 15 people had gathered at a hillock near Neerakolli village and one of them fired at the truck.
The Inspector General of Police for the southern range, B K Singh, refused to comment on the incident, saying it was still under investigation.
“We have deployed over 2,000 policemen and over 200 personnel from paramilitary forces. People should cooperate with the police to maintain law and order. They should not gather in groups till Sunday,” said Singh.
Singh said the Madikeri police had registered 15 cases related to rioting over the Tipu Sultan birth anniversary celebration. “So far, we have not arrested anyone. We have sufficient video and CCTV footage to identify miscreants,” said Singh.