Muslims at a rally in Hassan on Monday protesting against the publication of an article on burka.
SHIMOGA/Hassan: Shimoga and Hassan cities witnessed widespread violence on Monday following protests by Muslim organisations against the publication of an article in the Sunday magazine section of a Kannada daily.
The article is a translation of an essay by Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen on wearing of the burka by Muslim women, and contains remarks that could be considered religiously insensitive and provocative.
Shimoga was by far the worst affected. The protests spiralled out of control, resulting in the death of two persons, one of them in police firing. Several persons were injured and there was large-scale destruction of property in different parts of the city. Police reports stated that at least 15 two-wheelers, three autorickshaws and a large number of shops in the main market areas were set on fire. It is stated that three persons with bullet wounds were admitted to the McGann Hospital in a serious condition. A person manning a telephone booth on Nehru Road was seriously injured when a petrol bomb was thrown at him. He was hospitalised in a serious condition.
Reporters and photographers were at the receiving end, in stone throwing by angry protesters, with several of them receiving serious injuries. A reporter of a TV news channel fell unconscious when a stone hit him in the chest. The situation in Shimoga continues to be tense despite the imposition of a curfew and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The police were taken by surprise by the sudden eruption of violence and could not bring the situation under control immediately as the force was inadequate.
The city continues to be tense. Schools and colleges have been ordered closed on Tuesday as a precautionary measure.
In Hassan too, the district administration clamped Section 144 in the city for three days following the outbreak of violence, with schools and colleges, and the weekly market closed on Tuesday.
Superintendent of Police K.V. Sharatchandra said 10 persons, including four police personnel, were injured.
Taslima's article spark violence in Karnataka, 2 killed in Shimoga
S O News, Monday, 01 March 2010 - 19:29:56 IST
Shimoga/Hassan: Two killed and many injured in Shimoga on Monday when over 1500 hundred people joined to protest against the publication of a translated article written by controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen in a leading Kannada paper. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 is imposed in Shimoga.
The police informed that protesters burnt a total of 27 vehicles which included 12 two wheelers, two tractors, two autorickshaws, jeeps, trucks along with buses and pelted stones in Shimoga, the hometown of Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa. All this began after Holi celebrations earlier in the day, they added.
The police reportedly resorted to mild lathi charge and two persons were killed in the police firing, among which one is identified as Muhammed Sadique and the violence left an unspecified number of people injured. Prohibitory orders have been clamped in Shimoga and Hassan.
According to sources, Muslims gathered at Wakf board and protested against the translated article of Taslima Nasreen which highlighted her views on the Burkha system followed by Muslims. Shops were stoned while the Muslims in the area were submitting a memorandum to the DC and SP, they added. However the situation calmed down after the DC interrupted.
Sources further said that after everything calmed down, the Sangh Parivar began their work and burnt the shops which belonged to the minorities.
In Hassan, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda's hometown, tension broke out after unidentified persons pelted stones at some commercial establishments during a procession. Several shops and vehicles were set afire in both places.
Hassan SP Sharat Chandra said the protest was against the article published in the newspaper. Fifteen persons have been arrested in connection with the incidents in Hassan and Section 144 has been announced, he added.
The Hassan Deputy Commissioner, Naveen Raj Singh informed that members of two communities clashed with sticks and sharp-edged weapons. Additional DGP (Law and Order) A.R. Infant added additional forces have been sent to Shimoga.
SahilOnline caught up with Hassan DC Naveen Raj on the phone, he informed that the situation in Hassan was controlled by then. 5 were injured while the stones were being pelted and one was stabbed. The latter has been admitted to a hospital.
The Government had extended the visa of Ms Taslima Nasreen for one year. After leaving Bangladesh in 1994, she has made India her adopted home and was planning to move in here as a permanent resident. She left Bangladesh in the face of death threats received from fundamentalist groups who were against her writings.