Protests in Karnataka's Hubballi turn violent, 40 arrested, 12 cops injured
The accused had posted a picture of a mosque with a saffron flag on it, which led to widespread protests in the Old Hubballi area.
HUBBALLI: The Hubballi police have arrested 40 people for stone pelting at a police station and various public buildings and also damaging seven vehicles. In total 12 policemen have been injured of which two are admitted to a hospital.
The protest erupted in front of Old Hubballi Police Station on Saturday late night, following a social media post by the accused Abhishek Hiremath, resident of Anand Nagar in Hubballi. The accused had posted a picture of a mosque with a saffron flag on it, which led to widespread protests in the Old Hubballi area.
After his post went viral a complaint was lodged by a Muslim organisation at the Old Hubballi station. Though the police were quick to act and arrested the accused Hiremath, hundreds of people started gathering in front of the police station demanding handing over of the accused to them.
After the violent protests, the policemen started cracking down on the protesters who used large stones to hit the police station, vehicles, hospital and a temple. Tension prevailed in front of Old Hubballi police station after parents and relatives of the arrested gathered and argued with the police. All 40 arrested are now shifted to various locations.
Hubballi Police Commissioner Labhu Ram said the investigation is underway into the incident. "No one should take law into their hands. We are also investigating how such large numbers of stones were collected. More arrests are likely in the case. There is also news about damages to private vehicles and injuries to the public. If any complaints are there they must report to the nearest police station," the commissioner said.
Labhu Ram also said the prohibitory orders have been extended to the entire Hubballi city and additional police force from other districts have arrived for the security.
Meanwhile Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai has condemned the Hubballi violence incident and said that the government will not allow politicization of the incident. Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said he got information about collecting large amounts of stones thrown by the protesters. "It's a similar case of DJ Halli incident reported in Bengaluru. The police have brought the situation under control and anybody who disturbs the peace will be arrested," he said.