March 2, 2010
Police fire at Muslims in Shimoga, 2 dead
Those who died were identified as Mustafa and Ataullah. One of them died of a police bullet while another died because of injuries in the communal clash.
The protest march had been taken out in Shimoga on Monday after a local newspaper Kannada Prabha published an article of controversial author Taslima Nasreen.
The protesters were forcing shop owners to close their establishments and resorted to stone pelting. But the police fired at them, which caused the death of a person.
Another person died in the clash, sources said. The incident is likely to become a political issue as it shows failure of police in dealing with the protestors
Though there have been protests by right-wing parties like Sri Ram Sene and VHP in the state, the police have rarely resorted to firing at the demonstrations.
In the past, the police were accused of being soft towards Hindutva outfits ever since BJP came to power. However, Chief Minister Yeddyurappa has said that he will take stern action and ordered that a case be registered against the newspaper for publishing the article.
A similar demonstration against the publication of the article in Hassan town also turned violent but there was no casualty. The police have also increased vigil in the capital, Bangalore.
The Karnataka police have been accused of biased and communal action in the last couple of years. During the communal riot in Mangalore, the police had received flak for targeting Muslims and taking the side of Bajrang Dal activists.
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