Peace prevails in Hubbali, 89 arrested in connection with Sunday’s violence

Police have arrested 89 people who were allegedly involved in the violence in the Old Town in the wee hours of Sunday while four are absconding

Bengaluru/Hubballi: Peace prevailed in Karnataka’s Hubbali town on Monday, a day after a mob went on the rampage over a social media post that saw a police station and a Hanuman temple coming under attack, as police arrested 89 persons in connection with the incident.

Police sources said the violence was triggered following a social media post of a digitally altered image of a saffron flag flying over a mosque. The man who allegedly put out the post has been remanded to police custody.

State Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai warned of action against those guilty in connection with the violence.

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According to the police, the situation in Hubbali was peaceful on Monday.

“Arrests have been made and investigation is on. All those behind it, also leaders behind it, will face investigation, and action will be taken against those guilty in accordance with the law,” Bommai told reporters in Bengaluru in response to a question regarding the violence in Hubbali, about 410 km from the state capital, in the early hours of Sunday.

Police have arrested 89 people who were allegedly involved in the violence in the Old Town in the wee hours of Sunday while four are absconding.

The violence broke out over the contentious social media post. Despite persuading the leaders of a community twice, the mob went on the rampage, police sources said.

According to police, the arrests were made on the basis of the CCTV camera footage when they were setting the police vehicles on fire, pelting stones at police personnel, and damaging the Old Town police station in Hubballi.

Additional Director General of Police Dr C H Pratap Reddy, appointed by the government to monitor the investigation into the riots, visited the Hubballi-Dharwad police Commissioner Labhu Ram’s office and held a detailed discussion with him, police sources said.

Meanwhile, Abhishek Hiremath, whose alleged social media post triggered the riot was remanded to police custody till April 30.

Speaking to reporters, his lawyer Sanju Badaskar said the Old Town police produced Hiremath before the Fourth Judicial Magistrate First Class and an additional session’s judge from where he was sent to the Hubballi sub-jail.

“The Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Hindu Vakeelara Vedike presented the case in favor of Abhishek Hiremath. Tomorrow, the government is going to plead in the court and we will argue on behalf of Hiremath,” Badaskar said.

He said a petition will also be filed before the court to grant Hiremath permission to appear for the Pre-University Examination.

Meanwhile, police said the prohibitory orders clamped in Hubbali, under Section 144 of the CrPC will remain in effect till April 20.

The Sunday incident was the fallout of the alleged social media post, which others took objection to and lodged a police complaint. Subsequently, the person who made the post was arrested after a case was registered.

Not satisfied with the action, some people started gathering around the police station. They were persuaded and later dispersed from the spot.

Later around midnight, a large number of people once again started gathering around the police station, police said, adding that their leaders were summoned to the station and apprised about the action taken so far.

However, the mob outside the station was not ready to listen to them and went on a rampage.

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