A 19-year-old Muslim teenager named Saddam Hussain Jamkhandi was allegedly attacked on Independence Day by a mob of 10 to 12 people in Karnataka's Shivamogga, according to a First Information Report registered in the incident.
Jamkhandi was beaten up in Upparakeri in Gandhi Bazaar. He was admitted to a hospital and has now been discharged.
In a separate incident in Shivamogga, on the same day, a case of stabbing was reported in the Gandhi Bazaar area. The stabbing victim, identified as Prem Singh, was shifted to a local hospital for further treatment. The motive behind the attack was not immediately ascertained. On 16 August, four individuals were arrested in a case pertaining to the stabbing.
The attacks took place in the backdrop of a row erupting over a poster of VD Savarkar that was put up at the Ameer Ahmed circle in Shivamogga on the 76th Independence Day. Police are probing whether the attacks are linked to the poster row.
In yet another incident, Sunil, a man said to have links with the Hindutva outfit Bajrang Dal, was assaulted on 16 August in Bhadravathi town in Shivamogga district. The local police said that his friend Mubarak attacked him over a petty financial issue. As per the police, a case has been registered against Mubarak under IPC Sections 341 (wrongful restraint) and 323 (voluntarily causing hurt).
Section 144 is currently in place in the cities of Shivamogga and Bhadravathi in Shivamogga district, and the prohibitory orders are to stay till the evening of 18 August.
The Attack on Saddam Jamkhandi
As per the two FIRs registered in the case of Jamkhandi and Prem Singh accessed by The Quint, it was confirmed that the first person to be attacked was Saddam Hussain Jamkhandi. This incident took place at 2:15 pm in Upparkeri Cross.
It was only an hour later, at 3:15 pm, that the stabbing of Prem Singh took place in Gandhi Bazaar.
The survivor of the first attack on Independence Day, Saddam Hussain Jamkhandi, works at Amba Bhavani Metals.
According to the FIR registered about his attack, on 15 August, Jamkhandi was asked by his employer to shut the shop due to clashes in Ameer Ahmed Circle.
At 2:15 pm, Jamkhandi closed the shop and was on his way home on his two-wheeler. On the way, he was stopped by a group of 10-12 people at Upparakeri Cross. The FIR states that the mob asked Jamkhandi what his name was, and on realising his identity and community, they immediately attacked and beat him up.
As Jamkhandi tried to escape, there were repeated calls made to murder him, says the FIR. However, 19-year-old escaped and contacted his uncle over a phone call. He was later admitted to a hospital for minor injuries.
A case has been registered against 10-12 unknown people as per IPC sections 143 (unlawful assembly),147 (rioting), 149 (offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means), and 341 (wrongful restraint).
The Background of the Clash in Shivamogga
Earlier, some right-wing activists had installed a poster of Savarkar at the Ameer Ahmed Circle. In protest, a few Muslim youth allegedly tried to remove Savarkar's poster in the presence of police force.
As per reports, a group of people also attempted to install a poster of Tipu Sultan, the 18th century ruler, in place of the Savarkar poster.
Groups of BJP and Hindutva supporters staged a protest demanding that they be allowed to install Savarkar's picture, urging action against the other group for insulting their icon.