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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
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.