Saturday, February 13, 2010
Ram Sene's K'taka bandh turns violent
The bandh call given by the Sri Ram Sene in Karnataka has received mixed response so far, with parts of the state bearing the brunt of the strike.
The Ram Sene had called for a Karnataka bundh after some activists, allegedly from the Youth Congress, blackened the face of its leader Pramod Muthalik at a function in Bengaluru on Thursday.
While state capital Bengaluru remained largely peaceful, there was violence in parts of Belgaum and Mangalore, the strong hold of the Ram Sene.
In Udupi, Sene activists attacked the houses of Union Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes and former state minister Vasant Salian.
At Mangalore, private buses stayed off the road following a couple of incidents of stone pelting. However, government buses continued to ply on the roads. The police force, which has been out since yesterday, has had a busy day so far.
However at Ullal in Mangalore, Section 144 has been imposed after a youth was stabbed by some unidentified persons. In Udupi near Mangalore, Sene activists downed shutters of shops forcibly and ensured that no buses were plying on the roads.
Situation in Belgaum, the hometown of Pramod Muthalik, remained tense. All shops remained shut and the streets wore a deserted look.
Muthalik had called for a bundh in Mangalore and Belgaum on Friday itself, but it was not successful. Muthalik is believed to be in Vijayawada since Friday.
He had issued a statement saying that he would ensure the bandh call given today would be a complete success.
Meanwhile Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa has said that the police force would do everything to ensure that life of citizens is not disrupted. He said that this bandh is by forces opposed to development and his government would not let such forces win at any cost.
He has also urged the people to maintain calm and said that his government is doing everything it could to ensure that normalcy and peace is maintained in the state.
Right-wing organisation Shri Ram Sene has called for a Karnataka bandh on Saturday to protest the humiliation faced by its chief Pramod Muthalik recently.
Muthalik's face was blackened by alleged activists of the Youth Congress during an open air debate on Valentine's Day hosted by a local TV channel in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
Incidentally, Muthalik and his little-known organisation shot to the limelight last year, when members of his outfit attacked and beat up women at a Mangalore pub.
The situation in Mysore and Mangalore remained tense on Friday as Sene workers allegedly indulged in violent activities.
Sene activists also reportedly disrupted the screening of Shah Rukh Khan-starrer My Name is Khan at a cinema hall in Mysore. The police immediately swung into action, but the screening of the film was halted for some time. Seven persons have been arrested in connection with this case.
Activists of the outfit allegedly pelted stones and damaged 15 buses. The police are on the look out for the accused. Additional police forces have been deployed into service.
Bengaluru remained relatively calm despite the Sene's threats, but security was tightened at malls and hotels. Meanwhile, Muthalik termed the 'face blackening' incident as 'a slap on democracy'.