Tension prevailed in Karnataka’s Shimoga town on Friday following communal clashes that broke out on Thursday evening after a rally by Popular Front of India (PFI). One person had died and two were injured in violence during the rally.
Prohibitory orders were clamped in the town by the Shimoga district administration on Friday.
The violence broke out after members of the PFI, a Muslim activist group, staged a rally in the city to mark the birth of a founder. Some of the participants were confronted by locals for allegedly throwing stones at vehicles during the rally, resulting in the outbreak of violence. According to the Shimoga police, three persons who were riding on a bike were attacked in Gajnur, resulting in the death of one and serious injures to two.
The deceased was identified as Vishwanath, 30, from the nearby Bhadravati town. News of the death and clashes led to more people from both communities coming out on the streets and attempting to set fire to some establishments in the town. The police brought in reinforcements in the night and brought the situation under control.
Prohibitory orders were imposed in the town and schools and colleges remained closed on Friday. Commercial establishments and banks, however, opened for business.
The PFI rally in Shimoga came close on the heels of a major rally in the town organised by right wing groups led by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
Police claimed to have arrested a few persons who were involved in the clashes. Additional Director General of Police (internal security) Amar Kumar Pandey and Inspector General of Police (eastern range) Nanjunda Swamy have been stationed at Shimoga to monitor the situation.
The district in-charge minister Kimmane Rathnakar, meanwhile, announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the family of Vishwanath.