At least 25 people were detained in connection with the violence reported in Koppal area of Karnataka, police officials in the know of matter said on Friday.
At least two people were killed and six injured during the clashes between Valmiki and Muslim communities over an interfaith relationship. Section 144 of CrPC continues to be imposed in the Hulihyder village of Koppal and two kilometres around it and will remain in effect till August 20, said the police. The members of the two groups had assaulted each other with sticks and weapons.
“More than 25 people were taken into custody, on Thursday, in Hulihyder village related to the violence which occurred during a Muharram procession. Two people were killed during the clashes. Investigation is going on in the matter,” said Koppal superintendent of police Arunagshu Giri. The SP said that the accused involved in the violence will be booked.“We are yet to file the first information report but will do it soon,” he said.
He said, “We have deployed the police and have asked to impose Section 144 in the area for seven days.”
Eight people were injured in the clashes and rushed to a hospital where two of them – Yankappa (60) and Pasha (22) – succumbed to their injuries, SP Giri, who had visited the spot and reviewed the situation, said.
According to police, the detentions are being made on the evidence collected from several CCTV cameras and mobile phone footage. A case has been registered under Sections 302 (murder), 323 (assault), 324 (assault with weapons), 141 (unlawful assembly) and 146 (riot) among others of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) .
According to an officer at Kanakagiri police station, the situation in the village was tense after the couple – a Muslim man and a Valmiki woman – had eloped and started living together.
The deceased Pasha had married the woman belonging to the Valmiki community recently due to which members of the community were angry and the situation was tense in the village. “We brought them (couple) back and handed them to their respective families after the woman’s family filed a missing complaint. The woman, however, returned to the man’s house, further adding to the tension,” the officer said, seeking anonymity.
On the day of the incident, Pasha went to a Valmiki lane to buy flowers where he was attacked by Yankappa(. Later, Pasha succumbed to his injuries.
Giri said the clashes erupted after a minor argument between Basha and another unidentified person (later identified as Yenkappa) belonging to the other community over the interfaith relationship turned violent.
“Pasha had gone to a shop in the village where he had an argument with an unidentified person belonging to the other community. After this, hundreds of youth from Pasha’s side attacked Yankappa’s house, which led to a riot. Yankappa, who was severely injured in the incident, died in the hospital. Two people died in the clashes,” the SP said.