Section 144 imposed in a town in Karanataka in wake of communal disturbance

    By Staff Reporter,

    Bangalore: Communal tension gripped the city of Chikmagalur, Karnataka, in the early hours of Saturday over the desecration of a place of worship on M G Road. Miscreants had killed a piglet and threw its carcass on top of the iron grills of the compound, surrounding the sacred place. Worshipers first noticed the body of the animal, when they came to offer their early morning prayers.

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    As soon as the news of the desecration spread, youths belonging to the community assembled at the Hanumanthappa Circle in the city, and wielding cudgel, forced owners of businesses to shut down shop. Some went on to ransack commercial properties and set shops and vehicles on fire.

    Enraged, another group of people launched a protest in response. Despite appeals from police, leaders belonging to the community, and enforcement of prohibitory orders under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code, the two groups came to blows, forcing the police to resort to caning to disperse the protesters.

    The district administration has clamped prohibitory orders till Sunday midnight to prevent any untoward incident, and told the gathered presspersons, that steps will be taken to nab the culprits. The Deputy Commissioner has issued an order banning processions, meetings, carrying weapons and gathering of four or more than four people at a place in the city till Sunday midnight, according to local media reports.

    Additional police forces and platoons of the Rapid Action Force have been deployed on the main streets, and other sensitive areas of the city. Security at places of worship has also been beefed up.