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Mangalore shut as Christians protest
Published on 16 Sep. 2008 1:05 AM IST
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Schools and shops remained shut and vehicles kept off the roads in the coastal Karnataka city of Mangalore on Monday, following group clashes and demonstrations by Christian groups to protest attacks on them on Sunday by right wing Hindu groups. Around 100 people were arrested as Christians clashed with right wing Hindu groups and police. “The situation is peaceful since afternoon. Shops (which were shut in the morning in the busy commercial centre, about 350 kms from Bangalore) are open, though public transport is affected,” Inspector General of Police A. M. Prasad told IANS on the telephone from Mangalore. “We have arrested around 100 people,” he said. “We are still compiling the data,” Prasad said when asked how many have been held for attacking the police and how many for the attack on churches and prayer halls. He said on Monday, only at one place, police baton charged the crowds and lobbed tear gas shells at two places. “All these places are on the outskirts of the city.” “More than 20 policemen suffered minor injuries in the stone throwing,” he said. Unlike Sunday, when around 10 churches and prayer halls were attacked in Mangalore, headquarters of Dakshina Kannada district, and the neighbouring Udupi district, damaging crosses, windowpanes and furniture, there was no attack Monday. There were clashes between Christian protesters and right-wing Hindu groups and stone pelting at police by the protesters. Udupi was free of any incident Monday, Prasad said. One pastor suffered minor injuries in the Sunday attacks, he said. Meanwhile Karnataka chief minister B.S. Yeddyurappa was in Mangalore Monday evening on a scheduled visit. He was to reach the city in the morning but his aircraft could not land because of bad weather, his spokesperson said. “The visit is a scheduled one and not because of the violence in the city,” the spokesperson added. Soon after the attacks Sunday, hundreds of Christians in Mangalore demonstrated in front of churches and prayer halls, demanding the arrest of the attackers.

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