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Tension gripped the coastal area on Wednesday after a Bajrang Dal worker was hacked to death and a person from another community was injured in stone-throwing incidents late night. All shops and commercial establishments in the communally sensitive Surathkal voluntarily pulled down their shutters. A private city bus was damaged by agitators in Soorinje, near Surathkal.
Taking note of the situation, the home department directed M Chandra Sekhar, former police commissioner of Mangaluru City Commissionerate, to rush to the trouble-torn zone and take immediate measures to bring the situation under control. At least six KSRP platoons and over 500 personnel have been deployed in the affected area to prevent any untoward incidents.
According to police, the 25-year-old Bajrang Dal worker was hacked to death allegedly over tying of buntings at a religious festival in Katipalla, Surathkal, 16km from here, on Wednesday.
4 held within 5 hrs of activist’s murder
Four persons — Naushad, Pinky Nawaz, Rizwan and Nirshan — were arrested after a car chase within five hours of the murder. They are being interrogated at an undisclosed location, a top police officer said.
The issue of buntings had cropped up a few days ago during the Shibaroor temple fair and urs of a local mosque. Sources said the buntings intersected at a point and this led to an altercation between members of the two communities.
Sources said the man murdered on Wednesday — Deepak Rao — was among those who clashed. Rao worked as a marketing executive with a private telecom company. Since most of the customers were from the minority community, Rao used to frequent the areas dominated by them. He was fluent in Beary language spoken by Muslims in Mangaluru.
Around 1.30pm on Wednesday, Rao was on his way to collect documents from his office at Katipalla when the attackers arrived in a car and struck him on the head with lethal weapons. Rao’s fingers were also severed in the attack. He died instantly. He is survived by his mother and a differentlyabled brother.
Police arrested the assailants as they were fleeing in a car near Mijar in Moodbidri, around 20km from the scene of the crime. They chased the accused and opened fire on the vehicle to stop them. Sources said one of the assailants was injured in the firing.
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