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Violence mars pre-poll scene in Bhadravati

By Our Special Correspondent

BHADRAVATI, APRIL 21. The pre poll scene in this industrial town, which goes to the polls on April 26, was marred by violent incidents on Wednesday in the wake of the death of the son of a political leader under mysterious circumstances. Prohibitory orders under Section 144, Criminal Procedure Code have been imposed in the town as a precautionary measure. Vehicles are not being allowed to enter the city.

The police lobbed teargas shells and resorted to a lathicharge when the pleas by the authorities to maintain peace failed. The Deputy Commissioner, Tushar Girinath, and the Superintendent of Police, K.H. Srinivas, are camping here to oversee the security measures. Several people who were injured in the incidents were shifted to hospital. The situation though tense is said to be under control.

It is stated that the murder of Raju (8), son of the taluk unit leader of the Janata Dal (S), Nanje Gowda, at Kallahalli on the outskirts of the city last night led to trouble as rumours were allegedly spread by the supporters of B.K. Sangamesh, who is contesting as an independent candidate after leaving the Congress, that the boy's death was caused by the supporters of Appaji, Congress candidate. The police said supporters of Mr. Sangamesh went berserk in the morning, damaging the cut outs and banners of Mr. Appaji, which led to trouble as the supporters of the latter took exception to it. The situation was brought under control with the timely intervention of the police.

However, trouble broke out again in the afternoon when the supporters of Mr. Sangamesh allegedly threw stones at a petrol bunk in front of the KSRTC bus stand which reportedly belongs to Mr. Appaji. The latter, accompanied by his supporters, staged a dharna in front of the petrol bunk, demanding the immediate arrest of the miscreants.

The police burst teargas shells and resorted to a lathicharge to quell the mob. Several police personnel were injured in the stone throwing. Meanwhile, a close relative of Mr. Nanje Gowda was shifted to hospital for the treatment of injuries received in an attack reportedly by the supporters of the former, suspecting him to be responsible for the murder. The boy was strangulated.

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