Karnataka: 40 arrested, 12 injured in violence over online post
The Karnataka Police arrested 40 people for pelting stones at the Old Hubli police station in the Dharwad district on Saturday. Protesters reportedly targeted the police station as they were dissatisfied with the police's action against a person who shared an objectionable social media post targeting Muslims. Seven vehicles were damaged and 12 cops were injured in the violence; two of them were hospitalized.
- Communal tensions have been on a surge across the country, especially in Karnataka after the hijab ban row.
- The incident comes less than a week after communal clashes in the state's Mulbagal during Ram Navami processions—where anti-social elements allegedly triggered violence.
- The Hubli incident also came as several parts of India—like Delhi, Uttarakhand, and Andhra Pradesh—reported communal violence during Hanuman Jayanti processions on Saturday.
A Hubli resident—identified as Abhishek Hiremath—posted an image of a mosque with a saffron flag on social media, leading to protests. A Muslim organization filed a complaint at the Old Hubli police station. Though cops quickly arrested Hiremath, hundreds gathered outside the station demanding the accused be handed over to them. The police reportedly used lathi-charge and tear gas shells to disperse the mob.
Speaking about the incident, Hubli-Dharwad Police Commissioner Labhu Ram said that the matter was being investigated. "Six cases have been registered against those involved in the violence and the situation is under control now," he said, emphasizing, "No one should take the law into their hands." "We have taken all preventive measures to stop the repetition of such incidents," the police commissioner added.
Karnataka's Home Minister Araga Jnanendra on Sunday alleged the Hubli incident "was a pre-planned attack." He said some people involved in the violence were arrested, adding an injured police officer was in a critical condition. Prohibitory orders, including CrPC Section 144, have been issued for the entire city of Hubli. Additional police forces have been deployed to ensure peace and security, as per reports.