Normalcy returns to violence-hit towns: Yeddyurappa
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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 02, 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."


First Published: Tuesday, March 02, 2010, 14:07

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