Over 160 communal incidents since 2019 in Karnataka; home minister’s district leads

News Network
September 30, 2022

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Bengaluru, Sept 30: Karnataka has witnessed 163 cases of communal violence or riots since 2019 with nearly a hundred cases reporting this year alone, according to official data.  

The data tabled by the state government in the legislature earlier this month, also revealed that almost three-fifths of those communal incidents took place in in Shivamogga, the home district of home minister Araga Jnanendra and BJP bigwigs B S Yediyurappa and K S Eshwarappa. 

In 2019, the state had witnessed only 16 cases. However, in 2022 (till September) the state saw 96 incidents of communal violence or riots in what many see as a symptom of polarisation taking place ahead of the 2023 Assembly elections. In 2020 and 2021 the state had witnessed 19 and 32 cases respectively

Interestingly, of the 96 cases this year, 42 belong to Shivamogga. 

Since 2019, which happens to be the year when the BJP came to power, 18 districts have reported communal violence. Shivamogga tops the list with 57 cases followed by Bagalkot (22), Davangere (18), Dakshina Kannada (10), Kodagu (10). 

There were communal killings in Dakshina Kannada, Gadag (Nargund) and Shivamogga, Home Minister Araga Jnanendra said in his written reply to the Legislative Council. Also, more than 300 police personnel sustained injuries during riots. 

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News Network
November 23,2022

Mangaluru, Nov 23: A differently-abled woman’s dead body was found stuffed inside a gunny bag at Beeramangala in Sullia taluk of Dakshina Kannada district.

According to DK SP Rishikesh Sonawane, it is suspected that Imran Sheikh, working as a helper at a bar in Sullia and living in a rented house for the past few months, allegedly killed his wife and fled after stuffing the body in a plastic gunny bag.

Imran is said to be a native of West Bengal and was working at the bar owned by Santhosh K for the last eight months. He had left for his native place within 15 days of joining the work and later returned with his wife. He had stayed in a room in the bar with his wife for 15 days and later shifted to a rented house at Beeramangala.

The complainant Santhosh said that Imran had informed him that his wife was pregnant and there was no one to take care of her here in Sullia. Hence, he availed his salary on November 19 to leave for his native place along with his wife. 

On November 21, Keerthan Shetty, who was working as a waiter in the bar, was informed by Imran’s neighbour Rohith that they had heard a woman screaming in the house of Imran on the night of November 20. 

When asked, Imran had informed the neighbour that his wife fell in the toilet. Suspecting something fishy, Keerthan informed his owner Santhosh of the incident, who in turn tried to contact Imran but his phone remained switched off. 

Santhosh visited the rented house of Imran on Tuesday and noticed light in the room. When he peeped through the window, he noticed a phone on the table and light in the toilet. He also noticed a gunny bag near the toilet. On enquiring, Rohith had informed Santhosh that Imran had left with a bag on November 20 at 8.30 pm. However, his wife had not accompanied him. The Sullia police who rushed to the spot found the body of a woman stuffed inside the gunny bag.

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News Network
November 25,2022

The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) on November 24 has issued revised user fee rates at Hejamadi toll gate in Udupi district after the merger of Dakshina Kannada’s Surathkal toll plaza on NH 66.

The revised use fee rate will come into effect from December 1.

The present fee for a single trip at Surathkal plaza for Light Motor Vehicles (LMV) like car, jeep, van etc is Rs 60 and Rs 40 at Hejamadi plaza. After the merger of Surathkal gate with that of Hejamadi, the toll for LMV at Hejamadi will be Rs 100. 

The present fee for return trips for LMV at Surathkal is Rs 90 and Rs 65 at Hejamadi. With the new user fee, the return trips for LMV at Hejamadi will be Rs 155. The present fee for monthly pass valid for 50 single trips for LMV at Surathkal plaza is Rs 2,050 and Rs 1,410 at Hejamadi. After the merger, fee for monthly pass valid for 50 single trips for LMV at Hejamadi will be hiked to Rs 3,460.

The buses, trucks and other heavy vehicles will also have to pay the toll of Surathkal plaza at Hejamadi after the merger. Buses that are paying Rs 6,940 and Rs 4,765 for monthly pass for 50 single trips at Surathkal and Hejamadi respectively will have to pay Rs 11,705 at Hejamadi after the merger. 

While oversized vehicles (seven or more axles) that were paying Rs 13,250 and Rs 9,100 for monthly pass for 50 single trips at Surathkal and Hejamadi respectively will have to pay Rs 22,350 after the merger at Hejamadi.

NHAI project director H S Linge Gowda, in a letter to the Deputy Commissioner of Udupi, has stated that the calculation has been done as per the National Highways Fee (determination of rates and collection) Amendment Rules, 2010 and National Highways Fee (determination of rates and collection) Amendment Rules, 2014.

“Based on the continuous request by the government of Karnataka, local public/VIP references, the competent authority has accorded approval for merger of Surathkal toll plaza with adjacent Hejamadi toll plaza. Accordingly, user fee for Surathkal toll plaza will now be charged at Hejamadi toll plaza by adding toll fee for both the stretches,” the project director said.

The NHAI has requested the Udupi district administration to provide necessary support including police protection to ensure that there will be no law and order issues at Hejamadi after the merger of Surathkal toll gate.

Referring to NHAI Chairperson’s letter to Chief Secretary of Government of Karnataka dated October 29, he said “there is a need to ensure that there will not be any disruption or stoppage to toll collection at Hejamadi toll plaza and in case there is any disruption/stoppage of toll collection, the losses on this account shall be reimbursed by State government as per State Support Agreement to NHAI.”

Toll Virodhi Horata Samithi convener Muneer Katipalla said that the indefinite day and night dharna that entered the 29th day on Friday will end only after toll collection is stopped at Surathkal.
On NHAI’s decision to collect the toll of Surathkal at Hejamadi, Katipalla said that a meeting of all like minded organisations from Udupi and Dakshina Kannada districts will be held soon to discuss the future plans.

Terming it as an anti-people decision, Katipalla said “the NHAI has decided to collect exorbitant fees at Hejamadi. Is there no value for the toll collected at Surathkal in the last seven years?” he sought to know.

“MP and MLAs failed to understand the feelings and the hardship of people. People from undivided Dakshina Kannada should raise their voice. It has now been proved beyond any doubt that BJP MPs and MLAs have no experience in governance,” said Katipalla.

With the merger and revision of user fee, the exemption of toll given for private vehicles with KA 19 registration at Surathkal will no longer be valid after December 1 at Hejamadi. 

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News Network
November 18,2022

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Mangaluru, June 18: In a shocking news, a priest of a Hindu temple at Thumbay in Bantwal taluk of Dakshina Kannada was arrested on charges of sexually abusing and impregnating his minor stepdaughter. 

The arrested has been identified as Venkatesh Karanth, a resident of Rama Nivas, Thumbay. He is also a Hindutva activist. 

Karanth had married the victim’s mother after her first husband died in a road accident. The girl was living with the couple.

Karanth was reportedly sexually abusing stepdaughter repeatedly for several months. The girl is said to be in her fifth month of pregnancy now. A complaint was filed only after it came to light that victim is pregnant.

The Bantwal Rural Police have registered a case against Karanth under POCSO Act. The accused was produced before the court which remanded him to judicial custody. 

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