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Riots rock Shimoga...

A 25-year- old Muslim youth was killed and several people injured when a procession of Ganesha idol immersion turned violent in Shimoga town, 200km from state capital of Bangalore on 27 August. Two of the injured persons sustained serious injuries.

Curfew was clamped following the escalating tension in the city. Tension and fear was visible in the city even as shops and markets in the affected areas remained closed and life was affected in some areas which were rocked by a series of violent incidents.

25-year-old Sadiq Fareed was hit in the head in the thick of the tension. He died while being ferried to the Manipal Hospital. The incident further oiled the tension.

Trouble arose when a Ganesha idol was taken out in procession on the Maha Kavi Kalidas Road for immersion. According to reports, as the procession approached a mosque the processionists tried to burn camphor and raised slogans in front of it. This allegedly led to stone-throwing from inside the building. The processionists threw stones in return. As a result of this exchange, several people were injured. The scene might have gone out of control had police not been present on the spot. But the situation worsened in the evening when Sadiq Fareed was assaulted near his house. The curfew remained in force for three days. Nearly 40 persons were arrested in connection with the incidents. The social welfare and district in-charge minister Kagodu Thimmappa who rushed there gave away a cheque for Rs 0 .1 million to the father of the youth killed in the violence.

... and Ahmedabad
Riots broke out in this communally-sensitive town following attacks on Muslim shopkeepers allegedly by activists of some Hindu organizations on 24 August.

Tension started when Muslim vendors were attacked by about a dozen persons wielding knives, pipes and lathis on Cadila bridge in the Vatva industrial area. One Muslim youth stabbed in the incident succumbed to his injuries four days later in a local hospital.

Though the VHP and Bajrang Dal have denied their involvement in the incident, reports indicate that attacks were carried out by Bajrang Dal members, enraged over the refusal of donations for Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations by Muslims. Hasmukh Patel, vice-president of state Congress alleged that it was a handiwork of the Bajrang Dal. He also said that 'with the BJP in power, the actual attackers would never be arrested and only those whose links with Sangh Parivar could not be established would be taken into custody just to show that Hindu fundamentalists were not involved.'

The clout of Bajrang Dal is well known in rekindling communal frenzy. The Sangh outfit has launched a recruitment drive as a part of its nationwide operation to enlist three million fresh volunteers. Most of the new volunteers are reported to be provided trishuls (tridents) that has resulted in communalizing the situation afresh.

It is reported that only about a week before the incident, a recruitment camp was organized in Vatva area by the Dal. Several rallies were taken out by trident wielding activists through Muslim dominated areas as a show of strength. Clashes occurred again on 6 September in Kalupur area in which a woman was injured and curfew was clamped again.

It is just eight months when the devastating quake hit the state, but it seems that these people have just forgotten the incident. When the efforts would have been to reconstruct houses and towns Hindutva organizations are trying to rake up their hate campaign once again. It is just one month after one such organization forced a Hindu girl that had converted to Islam and married a Muslim youth to kill herself.

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