Normalcy returns to violence-hit towns: Yeddyurappa

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 2, 2010 - 14:07

Bangalore: Normalcy has returned to Shimoga
and Hassan towns, hit by violence during protests by Muslims
over publication of an article in a daily purportedly written
by exiled Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen, Chief Minister B
S Yeddyurappa told the Karnataka Assembly on Tuesday.

"Those who take the law into their hands will be strictly
dealt with," he said, adding that no untoward incident has
taken place in the two cities since last night.

Yeddyurappa said cases have been booked against the daily
and 103 people taken into custody in the two cities, where 33
persons and 25 policemen were injured in the violence in which
74 shops and 50 vehicles were damaged.

As the House met, Opposition Congress leader Siddaramaiah
and JD-S leader H D Revanna asked the government to give
compensation to those hit by the violence.

Two persons were killed, including one in police firing
in Shimoga, Yeddyurappa`s home town, during the protest
against Kannada translation of an article purportedly penned
by Taslima, published in a Kannada daily in its Sunday
edition. Hassan was also affected by the violence yesterday.

Yeddyurappa said steps would be taken to give
compensation to the affected, based on a fact-finding report
on assessment of loss of property.

He said a company of CRPF has been deployed in Shimoga
and another was on its way to Hassan.

He blamed "selfish elements" for the violence, saying
otherwise it would not have taken place on such a large-scale.

Yeddyurappa said the government was mulling strengthening
the intelligence department by holding separate recruitment.

Siddaramaiah said only "useless and old" people and those
"without influence" end up in the Intelligence Department,
which should be strengthened by separate recruitment.

The chief minister said the government had also discussed
the issue with Home Minister P Chidambaram, who has given
several suggestions in this regard.

"At any cost, there would not be any shortcoming on the
part of government in protecting minorities. It`s our duty,"
Yeddyurappa said.

Muslim organisations had organised a protest, saying that
the article on burkha tradition was religiously insensitive
and provocative.

Meanwhile, Nasreen, living in India in a secret location,
said the appearance of the article was a "deliberate attempt
to malign" her and "misuse" her writings to create
disturbance.

She said, "I never written any written any article for
any Karnataka newspaper in my life."

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 2, 2010 - 14:07

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