Haveri, Mar 15: Tension prevailed in Karnataka's Haveri district on Tuesday as an incident of stone pelting by hardline hindutva activists on a mosque, Muslim houses and a school led to people of the two communities coming into a confrontational position.
Police has made elaborate security arrangements and is making an all out effort to rein in the situation. At least 15 persons have been arrested in connection with the incident.
Saffron activists, who pelted stones on the mosque, claimed that when they had taken the procession of Sangolli Rayanna (a martyr who fought the British), a section of Muslims had pelted stones on them and disrupted the procession. Stones were pelted at a similar programme last week.
On Tuesday when their rally was disrupted, the saffron activists pelted stones on the mosque, houses of Muslims and also damaged their vehicles, police sources said. Locals said that saffron activists had pelted stones on the local Urdu school and students had run outside from the classes and stood on the streets crying for help.
The group had also attacked an auto driver and smashed his vehicle. As tension mounts, police have made tight security measures and deputed policemen at the localities where Muslims live in large numbers.
Agriculture Minister B.C. Patil, reacting to the incident, said that it is wrong on anyone's part to pelt stones during the rally of Sangolli Rayanna and police will lodge complaints and initiate action. However, he said he was not aware of the stone-pelting incident on Tuesday.
"I don't have information on the stone pelting incident at the mosque. Will get details," he said.
Congress leader Siddaramaiah stated that the strife should be resolved amicably without giving any room for violence. The police should maintain peace, and whoever violates the law should be punished, he added.
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