The Mangaluru City Police, on the night of Wednesday, 10 May, registered three cases — suo motu — and imposed prohibitory orders of Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in the Kavoor police station limits after Congress and BJP workers engaged in a clash soon after polling was over.
The clash left three Congress workers and a policeman injured.
Section 144 of the CrPC permits an executive magistrate of any state or territory to issue an order to prohibit the assembly of four or more people in an area. Every such member of such an “unlawful assembly” can be booked for rioting.
The incident occurred at the Moodushedde village around 7.30 pm, as soon as balloting for the Karnataka Assembly election was over and the last bus was leaving the polling station — a government higher primary school in the village.
“After all the material left the polling station, two groups who gathered in large numbers at the spot started shouting slogans at each other. The sloganeering escalated into clashes involving stone pelting and the situation demanded police action, which was brief and the situation was brought under control in no time,” Mangaluru City Police Commissioner Kuldeep Kumar Jain told South First.
The constituency’s Congress candidate Mithun Rai had arrived near the school to speak to his supporters when BJP supporters started chanting “Modi Modi” slogans. In turn, Congress supporters started chanting “Jai Congress”, followed by both parties engaging in a brief clash, a senior police officer attached to the Kavoor police station told South First.
The police teams rushed to the spot and got caught in the middle of the stone-pelting. Three Congress party workers and a policeman, identified as Banuprakash, an assistant sub-inspector attached with Kavoor police station, sustained injuries and have been admitted to a hospital.
Congress candidate Rai’s car was also damaged in the incident, the police added.
Candidates who contested for the Moodabidri constituency were Umanatha Kotian from the BJP, Mithun Rai from the Congress, and Dr Amarashree Amarnath Shetty from the JD(S).
The Kavoor police have taken up three cases suo motu for rioting, assaulting, and obstructing public servants from discharging their duties, and are identifying the culprits based on CCTV footage and video recordings on their phones.
“We have already picked up a few culprits and have detained them for engaging in stone-pelting,” an assistant commissioner of police told South First. He added, “We have identified culprits who engaged in violence from both the parties and are securing them.”
“We had imposed prohibitory orders for preventive measures as the clash between the two groups happened on sudden provocation. The situation initially demanded our step-in, but it was brought under control very swiftly,” Kuldeep Kumar Jain told South First.