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Toll in rajkumar funeral procession violence rises to eight

Written by: Staff
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Bangalore, Apr 14 (UNI) The toll in violent incidents during the funeral procession of late Kannada Matinee idol Rajkumar has risen to eight with seven people killed in police firing and an young trainee constable lynched to death by a frenzed mob even as the situation in the city limped back to normalcy.

City Police Commissioner Ajay Kumar Singh told newsmen here in all 285 people including 174 policemen were injured in the violent incidents that dotted all along the 14 km route of the procession.

Among those injured five had received bullet wounds. He said all the bodies have been identified.

Replying to a question Mr Singh did not rule out the possibility of organised violence during the procession. However, only an investigation could throw light about it, he added.

Asked whether the police was unprepared he said ''We were neither unprepared nor caught in the wrong foot''. What was exhibited was a 'Tsunami of emotion'' and police had acted in a ''balanced manner'' he added.

He said police exercised utmost restriant to handle the situation, given the solemn atmosphere. They had resorted to police firing in two places--Siddalingaiah Circle, near Kanteerava Stadium and the Kanteerava Studio, when the situation went totally out of control, he added.

Hundreds of teargas shells were burst and repeatedly the mob was lathicharged all along the route he added.

He said as many as 41 cases have so far been registered and the final figure would be known later. While three petrol bunks were severely damaged, the mob had set on fire six trucks, 12 Buses, three autorickshaws, 20 cars and 54 two-wheelers. Besides police vehicles torched included seven vans, three cars, two Qualis vehicles, five jeeps and four motor cycles.

As many as 563 people have been arrested in connection with the two days violence and he did not rule out further arrests.

UNI VK SR HVB1350

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