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Violence in Karnataka's Hubbali over social media post: Section 144 imposed; 40 arrested, 12 cops injured

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Hubballi (K'taka), Apr 17: A large number of people allegedly went on a rampage damaging many police vehicles, a nearby hospital and a Hanuman temple in the old town of Hubballi and injured some police officers on duty over a social media post in the early hours of Sunday, police said.

Prohibitory orders under Section 144 has been clamped in Hubballi city, police added.

Violence in Karnatakas Hubbali over social media post: Section 144 imposed; 40 arrested, 12 cops injured

"Around 40 people have been arrested and some FIRs have been registered. Twelve of our officers on duty were injured and some police vehicles were damaged. We have taken all precautionary measures so that such incidents do not occur again. We will not spare those who have taken law into their hands," Hubballi-Dharwad Police Commissioner Labhu Ram told reporters.

According to him, someone had posted a social media post, which others took objection to and lodged a police complaint. Subsequently, the person was arrested after a case was registered.

Not satisfied with the action, some people started gathering around the police station. They were persuaded and later dispersed from the spot.

Around midnight, a large number of people once again started gathering around the police station, the officer said, adding that their leaders were summoned to the station and apprised about the action taken so far.

However, the mob outside the station was not ready to listen to them and they went on a rampage, Labhu Ram said, adding that the mob damaged some police vehicles as they resorted to stone pelting.

In this incident, about a dozen police officers have sustained injuries, the police commissioner said.

"We will not spare those who took law into their hands. We have taken all preventive measures to stop repetition of such incident," Labhu Ram said.

Speaking to reporters in Hosapete, the district headquarters town of the newly carved Vijayanagara district, state Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said some police officers have sustained injuries, including the inspector of Old Town police station.

"A police officer is in a serious condition. Some people involved in the attack have been arrested. It was a pre-planned attack. The miscreants wanted to create Devara Jeevanahalli and Kadugondahalli like incident in Hubballi," Jnanendra said.

The Home Minister was referring to the 2020 riot in Bengaluru where about 4,000 Muslims set on fire the residence of Congress MLA from Pulakeshi Nagar assembly constituency in Bengaluru R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy and his sister over a social media post by his relative.

The mob then torched many vehicles and set the DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations afire. In that incident, four people were killed including three in police firing.

Reacting to the Hubballi rampage, senior BJP MLA Basanagouda Patil Yatnal demanded that the government should act tough against the miscreants in a way that they should never think of repeating the incident.

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