Four people have been arrested for allegedly stabbing a man in Karnataka’s Shivamogga amid communal tension over a banner featuring the image of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.
One of the accused suffered a bullet injury in the leg during the police operation to take them into custody. The man allegedly tried to attack the policemen, they said.
District police chief BM Laxmi Prasad said heavy force is on the ground to prevent any flare-up and prohibitory orders will be in force for the next 48 hours. Schools in the area have been asked to stay shut for the next two days.
According to reports, the communal clash in the area broke out after a group allegedly removed a poster of Savarkar and put up one of Tipu Sultan.
Earlier, celebrations of Tipu Sultan Jayanti have sparked a face-off between his followers and the BJP and its ideological parent Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh.
The violence in Shivamogga comes against the backdrop of a war of words between the ruling BJP and the Opposition over the state BJP government omitting the picture of Jawharlal Nehru and accommodating Sarvarkar’s in an advertisement for the Har Ghar Tiranga campaign.
The ruling BJP said it was a deliberate decision. “Because of Nehru, India is divided into India and Pakistan. That is why his photo was omitted in the newspaper,” said BJP spokesperson Mr Ravi Kumar.
Leaders of the Opposition targeted the state government over the move and demanded Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai’s resignation.
“It is a shame on Indian’s democracy and freedom. India is celebrating 75 years of Independence. The Prime Minister should sack Basavaraj Bommai, we demand an apology,” said state Congress chief DK Shivakumar.