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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Communal bug bites Mangalore: Clashes, rioting reaches Southern India

Riots in Mangalore! I am really surprised. Even the beautiful town in the West Coast is no longer immune to communal violence.

Though Karnataka has seen riots in the last ten-odd years ever since the issue in Hubli was raised apart from riots in Bangalore, Bhatkal and other places.

Now Mangalore has also seen this polarisation on religious lines. Clashes have been going on for a couple of days now.

Most of the Mangalore Muslims belong to Beary community that is spread across the coast. They speak Tulu [Isn't Aishwarya Rai a Tulu?] and other local languages.

Kannada, Konkani and Urdu are also spoken here. Mangalore is part of Dakshin Kannada district, part of the cultural region knows as Tulu Nadu. The riots that led to two deaths and over 100 injured, began when a truck carrying cattle for slaughter was stopped by Bajrang Dal activists.

The Karnataka Home Minister has blamed VHP and Sri Ram Sena [ever heard it's name] for the violence. The name of Muslim organisation like SIMI has also been reported in a couple of news reports. Ironically, most riots start over the familiar conflicts.

Last week's riots in towns in small towns in Northern India were mostly over the route of processions, raising of communal slogans in front of religious places etc. This has been going on for ages. So sad that we are yet to devise strategies to stop such mindless act.

Mangalore means an 'auspicious place' and hopefully the situation would normalise soon and peace prevails. Latest reports have confirmed the death of Abdul Ghafoor, 26, Imam of the mosque at Bijai, who was killed by suspected Bajrang Dal activists.

 Also, an ambulance carrying injured was attacked. Karnataka government surely needs to take drastic steps to end the violence and arrest the perpetrators. (Above a photo of Mangalore's MG Road)


Anonymous said...

You really believe there will be an action against? My friends there tell me that the Police are with the troublemakers.

HP said...


I think Muslims are called Bearys in Mangalore and South Karnataka.

Also, the tension between Hindu-Muslims is not exactly new in the sleepy town. Ever since the fall of Babri Masjid, the Bajrang Dal and the RSS affiliates have become strong in the region. And they keep finding new ways to trigger the riots.

And the riots have always seen an equal participation from both the communities.

And yes, Ash is a Tulu and so is Sunil Shetty :-)


The quick action taken by the government this time has helped preventing the escalation of the riots. Curfews have been placed very strictly and anyone violating orders have been quickly apprehended. Also, the top leaders of the Hindutva factions have been taken under arrest to quell any further reactions.


HP said...

Looks like there is some truth to Isha's claims.

Check out the story on NDTV


Rohit said...

Since the link posted by hp is not being displayed properly, here is the title of the story: "Mangalore Riots: BJP minister to resign"

The story can be accessed from the front page of ndtv.com

About the incident itself, I don't know what to say. The police seems to have hit a new low. :(

Abdul said...

The police has been mostly biased, and in fact went on a looting and rioting spree in ullal and other areas. Ties have hit a new low ever since the district elected a majority of BJP MLAs, and worsened considerably after the new govt took power. The police seems to have given the Bajrang Dal a free run, and apprehended mostly muslims. They are ably backed by BJP MLAs and some ministers.

Riots aren't new to mangalore (This is a sangh parivar stronghold), and has occured since the babri demolition (In fact the worst occured in the late sixties). In fact the RSS held its highest meeting (chintan baithak) here last year, and praised the Dakshina Kannada shakha for its "good work"

There have been numerous accounts of bajrang dal mobs with swords barging into muslims houses and shops with their faces painted, encountering some resistance in pockets, but mostly having their way. This was mostly a one-sided riot.

However, there were instances of people helping each other too, in mixed areas.

I've heard of a group of muslims who took a hindu lady to hospital defying curfew after she suffered a heart attack, and a group of hindu autorickshaw drivers who prevented a muslim from being attacked.
Lets hope peace reigns

Anonymous said...

seriously i feel the manglore police,goverment,press,media are all under bajrang..why is it so i also haave heard dat they do not want development of muslim and want remove them from manglore.i hope to see a new mangalore where all people can live without fear