In this volatile Mangaluru, even the jail stands testimony to the prevailing communal divide. It has separate sections for Hindu and Muslim inmates.
Way back in 2007, the then Mangaluru prison superintendent C R Thallur had submitted a report to his higher-ups explaining why they had to segregate Hindu and Muslim youths arrested for communal violence. “The tentacles of communalism have extended into the jail barracks,” he said in his report.
He had suggested different steps to be taken to keep members of both communities in isolation. It was based on this report that Mulki Rafique, who was involved in the murder of BJP leader Sukhananda Shetty, was shifted to Mysuru central prison soon after his arrest.
The divide between the communities was apparent for MLC Ivan D’Souza, who stepped inside the prison to take stock of the situation after the murder of two undertrials on Monday. D’Souza, who had raised many questions about security and communal tension in the barracks, said walls in the section housing Muslim undertrials were painted green while the “Hindu section” had saffron hue.
D’Souza said the murder of undertrials had a communal colour. He added the killings were plotted with support from antisocial elements and in connivance with jail staff.