Udupi, Jan 20: The day-long Shirva bandh sponsored by Hindutva outfits that gave communal tinge to an alleged molestation of a minor girl by a miscreant on board a moving bus, took a violent turn when a group of pro-Hindutva protesters assaulted two innocent youth for disregarding the illegal bandh.
Mohammed Haneef, and Mohammed Asim, the driver and conductor of a private bus, were brutally assaulted by the trouble mongers near Padubelle. Both the youth, aged around 35 years, have sustained severe injuries in the attack. They have been admitted to a hospital.
The assailants hijacked the bus near Padubelle and forced the Haneef and Asim to drive it towards Shankarapura, where the two helpless employees were assaulted once again. Then, the hijackers forced the driver to drive the bus towards Shirva.
When the duo tried to escape near Shirva masjid, the assailants began to chase them. A tense atmosphere prevailed when the assailants were confronted by local residents. Meanwhile police rushed to spot and managed to disperse the mob without lathi charge.
Among the assailants four persons have been identified as Babu, Girish, Santhu alias Santosh and Madhu. A complaint has been filed against them by two time keepers of the bus – Ramesh and Mohan.
‘Attempt to trigger communal riot’
Haneef and Asim, who are recovering at a hospital in Ajjarkad, said that they were assaulted by the Hindutva activists without any provocation.
“The only reason for their attack was that we are Muslims. Their intention is to disturb harmony and trigger communal riot in the region ahead of election,” they said.
Sources said that protesters allowed to operate buses owned and driven by Hindus and deliberately targeted a bus with Muslim employees.