2006-10-10

Manglorr PORT CITY BURNING Director-General of Police B.S. Sial at a riot-hit spot in Ullal near Mangalore on Saturday. MANGALORE: Violence in Mangalore and its adjoining areas escalated on Saturday when a group of people intercepted an ambulance, dragged the passengers out and stabbed them. One of them died on the way to hospital and another is said to be serious. The incident took place at 7.45 p.m. at Adoor-Polali Road, 15 km from the city, outside the curfew area. The identities of the victims have not been established. This takes the toll in the communal violence to two. On Friday night, a Muslim cleric and resident of Sullia, Abdul Gafoor (26) died of stab wounds in the city. Two others, whose identities are not known, were attacked and admitted to hospital. One of them later died. The body of Mr. Gafoor was handed over to his family. Sullia town was tense following his death. For the third successive day, violence gripped the city. In the first two days, following a "bandh" called by Sri Rama Sena and the Bajrang Dal, motorcycle-borne youth belonging to these organisations went around the city throwing stones, terrorising shopkeepers and forcing people to remain indoors. Going by the motorcycle registration numbers, it is said that these youth were from outside the city. The bandh called on Thursday by the Bajrang Dal was against the transport of cattle for slaughter and that of the Sri Rama Sena on Friday was in protest against the arrest of Pramod Muthalik in Bababudangiri during the Datta Mala Abhiyana. On Friday, Muslim youth retaliated attacking shops and business establishments, forcing the police to impose curfew in the city. Charge refuted Home Minister M.P. Prakash in a statement in Bangalore said Hindu and Islamic fundamentalist organisations, particularly outlawed Islamist student groups, were responsible for the violence. However, Ibrahim Saeed, president of the Jamaat-E-Islami Hind of Karnataka and Goa unit, has denied that any outlawed group operated in Dakshina Kannada district. Curfew may be relaxed Director-General of Police B.S. Sial on Saturday hinted at tough measures if the law and order situation does not improve in the riot-hit areas. Mr. Sial and Inspector-General of Police (Western Range) H.N. Sathyanarayana Rao toured the affected areas on Saturday. Mr. Sial told the media that the police forces in Mangalore were prepared for any eventuality and so far had been able to control the riots. He was confident that with the deployment of additional forces from outside the district, the situation would improve in 24 hours. Curfew, he said, would be relaxed in some areas to allow people to buy essential commodities. During his rounds, Mr. Sial asked the platoon in-charge at Ullal why he had not fired warning shots when a mob went on the rampage.

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