Clashes in Belagavi over Ayyappa pandal; 2 policemen injured

Prime News, State (Belagavi), December 20:-Clashes broke out between two communities here over erection of a pandal dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, triggering stray incidents of violence that left two police officials injured, a senior police officer said on Tuesday.

The trouble broke out last night when a section of people from a community objected to the pandal erected by Ayyappa devotees, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Amaraanth Reddy said.

Miscreants hurled stones and set fire to a car, two auto-rickshaws and a couple of two-wheelers, he said.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Shankar Marihal and a police inspector were injured in stone pelting. They have been hospitalised. Marihal, who suffered head injuries is recovering, the DCP said.

This is the second time Marihal injured during crowd control in the same area. Some journalists were also injured during the incident and the camera of a photographer was also damaged.

Twenty-seven persons have been taken into custody, he said, adding, some more are expected to be arrested.

The situation in the area is now under control, the officer said. Market police have registered a case.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) K Ramchandra Rao held a peace meeting with leaders of both communities.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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