Belagavi violence: 8 injured, 10 arrested as two communities clash over cricket match dispute

Both the groups in Belagavi have alleged in their complaint that they were threatened on religious grounds and assaulted.

ByMahesh M Goudar

Published May 24, 2024 | 6:00 PMUpdatedMay 24, 2024 | 6:14 PM

Violence over cricket match in Belagavi

Kids from two different communities playing separate matches on the same playground on Thursday, 23 May, led to communal tensions in Karnataka’s Belagavi and the arrest of 10 people.

On Thursday evening, teenagers from two different communities were playing cricket separately near the Marathi school at Alawangalli in Belagavi’s Shahpura locality when a dispute broke out over a petty issue.

When the kids informed their parents about it, they arrived at the scene and engaged in a verbal fight while unknown miscreants pelted stones at each other, according to the police.

In videos circulating on the internet, people can be seen expressing concerns about the stone pelting and miscreants carrying swords to police officials.

The fight caused tension in the locality leading to people remaining indoors for at least an hour, with shut doors and windows.

Also Read: 86 Bengaluru rave party attendees, including Telugu actor, test positive for narcotics

Attacked on religious grounds, claim complainants

Both groups have filed a complaint against each other, with allegations that they were threatened on religious lines and assaulted.

Acting on the complaint, Belagavi police arrested five people each from both communities.

Thirty-five-year-old Renuka S Masekar, the mother of one of the children playing cricket, alleged in her complaint, “While my son was playing cricket with his friends in the Marathi school ground, a ball hit one of the accused. When they (kids) went to take the ball, the accused abused and attacked them with a stump.”

Alleging that a few relatives of the kids were attacked with a sword and threatened on religious grounds, she said, “After learning of the fight between the children, Nikitha Kagale rushed to the playground.” She was attacked with a sword and an attempt was made to murder her. Similarly, Priyank Karunakar was also physically assaulted.”

In the complaint she filed, Renuka named 13 people and accused 25 others of being connected to the incident. The police have registered a complaint under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including Sections 143, 147, 148, 323, 324, 307, 354, 504, and 506.

In the counter-complaint, Ibrahim Torgal, a relative of one of the children from the other group, alleged: “When my relative D Tabish Ahmed Torgal and his friends were playing cricket, the fight broke out with another group. The accused turned up at the residence of Tabish Ahmed carrying stumps, bats and stones.”

“They threatened that they would show us the power of Hindus and attacked Tabish Ahmed’s head with a stump, attempting to murder him. When his family went to pacify the situation, they were also abused,” Ibrahim added.

Alleging they were threatened on religious grounds, Ibrahim has named 12 people and 25 others as being involved in the violence in which eight people sustained minor injuries.

Also Read: BJP hits out at Congress government in Karnataka, terms capital city ‘Udta Bengaluru’

Fight not based on religious grounds: CP

Confirming the arrest of ten people, Belagavi City Police Commissioner Iada Martin Marabaniang told South First, “Prima facie, the fight broke out between two groups, who happen to belong to different communities, over both playing cricket on the same ground. The children playing were around the age group of 14 to 15 years.”

“First, a fight broke out between the teenagers. When one among them alerted their parents, they rushed to the playground and indulged in verbal fights. However, the clash took an ugly turn when unknown miscreants pelted stones at each other,” explained the Commissioner.

Asserting that the fight was over cricket and not on religious grounds, he said, “I want to make it clear that this fight did not occur on religious grounds. There were no communal tensions. Both the communities reside in the same locality.”

He further said: “The situation has returned to normalcy in the locality. Eight people have sustained minor injuries in the clash and a sword has been recovered from the spot”.

(Edited by Neena)

Also Read: Bengaluru five-star hotels receive bomb threat; Police deem it a hoax