Mangalore, Sep 15: Police today resorted to batoncharge to disperse unruly crowds which hurled bottles at a demonstration held by Christians protesting the attack on prayer halls.
According to sources, hundreds of Christians gathered at the B C Road Circle and blocked the road protesting yesterday's attack on churches and prayer centres.
Congress MLA Ramanath Rai, who addressed them, condemned the attacks as an assault on democracy and urged the government to immediately arrest the guilty.
As vehicles were stranded, policemen requested the protestors to clear the road. When they refused to relent, policemen resorted to batoncharge.
The protestors dispersed but pelted stones at several vehicles, damaging a few of them.
Initially the protest was peaceful, but the trouble started after a mob threw bottles at the crowd which later went berserk.
As the people ran helter-skelter after the caning, miscreants threw stones at them injuring several people. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 have been imposed in Bantwal and Puttur Towns.
Meanwhile, petty group clashes were also reported Kulashekar and Thokkottu Areas in the city and police had to resort to caning.
According to police, the situation in the city was under control.
Meanwhile, schools and colleges in the city were closed due to poor attendance following non-availability of school vans and rickshaws which went off the roads in the city.
Express buses from Udupi and other places into the city were stopped this morning at the entry points to the city following which bus services to Mangalore were suspended.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa and Home Minister V S Acharya who were expected to visit Udupi and Mangalore had to return midway.
The helicopter carrying them from Mysore to Udupi was forced to return due to bad weather at Kudremukh.
Mr Yeddyurappa was expected to visit KMC Hospital at Manipal near Udupi where the son of BJP state president D V Sadananda Gowda had been admitted due to serious injuries hesustained in a car accident at Kaup near Udupi yesterday.