Hubballi/Hospete: At least 40 people were arrested and prohibitory orders clamped for four days in Hubballi, about 400 km from Bengaluru, after a mob attacked police and their cars at a police station with stones over a youth’s provocative WhatsApp post that offended the minority community. The youth was arrested.
A police inspector and 11 cops suffered minor injuries and seven of their vehicles were damaged in the attack that happened in the night. As the situation threatened to spiral out of control, police lathicharged, tear-gassed and fired rubber bullets at the violent crowd.
“We’ve imposed prohibitory orders in Hubballi town,” said Labhu Ram, the Hubballi-Dharwad police commissioner. CM Basavaraj Bommai said the government will not spare anyone instigating or taking part in violence. “Let’s look at the incident as a law-and-order issue, without giving it any political colour,” he said. Police said trouble started after several members of the minority community objected to a viral image posted by a youth as his WhatsApp status. They lodged a complaint, leading to the youth’s arrest. Later, some “miscreants” in the crowd started throwing stones at policemen and their vehicles. Nearby buildings, including a Hanuman temple, was targeted too.