Karnataka: Tension mounts in Bantwal over attack on RSS activist

MANAGALURU: BJP leaders including members of Parliament Shobha Karandlaje and Nalin Kumar Kateel were arrested today as they tried to hold a protest at Bantwal town against the July 4 attack on an RSS worker.

Ganesh Karnik MLC and local BJP leader Padmanabha Kottari were also arrested along with several BJP workers as they defied prohibitory orders in force under Section 144 of IPC, the police said.

RSS leader Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat, whose arrest had been demanded by Muslim outfit Social Democratic Party of India, also reached the venue but did not address the protesters.

Police sources said cases had been registered against more than 500 persons for unlawful assembly violating Section 144 of IPC enforced in the district.

The arrested persons were later released, the source said.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah who arrived here to attend a Congress regional convention warned strict action would be taken against anti-social elements trying to disrupt peace in Dakshina Kannada district.

The government would ensure that no organisation attempting to disturb peace in the district took law into their hands, he told reporters.

RSS worker Sarath, a laundry shop owner, was stabbed by an unidentified group on July 4 night in Bantwal.

He is undergoing treatment for the serious injuries suffered in the attack.

Prohibitory orders are in force till July 11 in Puttur, Sullia, Belthangady and Bantwal in Dakshina Kannada district following recent communal clashes in some areas.

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The orders were initially enforced in Bantwal from May 27 following skirmishes between two groups.

Later it was extended to the four taluks as violence spread.

The murder of an SDPI worker at Benjanapadavu in Bantwal on June 21 further escalated the tension forcing authorities to extend prohibitory orders.