A former Union minister and BJP leader Basanagouda Patil Yatnal was arrested by Bijapur district police in Karnataka on Wednesday morning in connection with a communal clash that took place on Monday while his supporters were celebrating the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Inspector General of Police (Northern Range) Bhaskar Rao said Yatnal was arrested at Kolhapur in Maharashtra and brought to Bijapur in northern Karnataka by the evening. Yatnal was a minister for state in the AB Vajpayee government from 2002 to 2004. Later, he joined the JD(S) before returning to the BJP recently.
The clash took place when Yatnal and his supporters took out a victory rally. Tension brewed as the procession reached Gandhi Chowk and they allegedly hurled colours on members of the minority community. Following the clash many vehicles were damaged and a few people, including two policemen, were injured.
“We have arrested a total of 30 people so far, including Yatnal, in connection with the communal clash. He will be produced before a judge tonight and we will request for his judicial custody,” Rao said.
Rao said Bijapur police had registered seven cases against Yatnal and his supporters under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon), 149 (unlawful assembly guilty of offense committed in prosecution of common object), 153A (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion), 295 (injuring or defiling a place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) and 353 (assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty).
Prohibitory order are in force in the town to prevent any further untoward incident.