As many as 98 activists of the Popular Front of India (PFI) were arrested in Mangaluru in coastal Karnataka on Tuesday after members of the socio-political outfit laid siege to the Mangaluru Police Commissioner’s office against the March 27 arrest of a PFI activist. The PFI activist had been arrested in connection with a February 2016 attack on a BJP worker. Police resorted to lathicharge to disperse the PFI activists near the commissioner’s office after they began throwing stones at the police for preventing them from entering the office premises. Dozens of policemen and PFI activists were injured in the clashes.
The PFI organised the protest on Tuesday morning against the arrest of Ahmed Qureshi, 26. Police claim the protest was held without sanction. The youth was arrested by the crime branch on March 27 in connection with the February 21, 2016 attack on a BJP worker, Prakash Poojari, 36.
PFI activists alleged that Qureshi was tortured in custody. The police denied the allegations. “The case was at a dead-end for several months. Recently, we arrested five persons, including Qureshi. He was produced before the court on March 27 and remanded in judicial custody till April 10. But he complained of health problems and was admitted to a hospital on March 31 doctors found him to be afflicted by a problem in a kidney. He had been suffering from kidney problems for a while but local people blamed the police for it,” said Police Commissioner M Chandrashekar.
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