Bengaluru: Is Dakshina Kannada going the Hubballi way? One certainly gets this impression seeing the communal frenzy which has gripped the coastal city, blessed with natural resources.
Till a few years ago, Hubballi city was classified as one of the most communally sensitive cities in the country by the Union home ministry due to frequent communal clashes during the Ram Janmabhoomi agitation, the controversy over hoisting the Tri colour at Idgah Maidan and during Holi celebrations. But now, this city in Dharwad district, seems to have left the past behind after realising the implications of communal violence on development. Of late, Hubballi city had been free from communal incidents as they are nipped in the bid by local cops.
Earlier, industrialists hesitated to start companies in Hubballi-an important trade centre in north-Karnataka, complaining of frequent breakdown of law and order and closure of shops and business establishments for days together till normalcy was restored. Communal clashes used to occur over trivial reasons and imposition of curfew was common. This took a toll on the city's development.
It seems like DK district is treading the same path if recent incidents are any indication. Prohibitory orders had been in force in the last one and a half months and sporadic incidents had been taking place despite the presence of a large police force. Dakshina Kannada may be a very progressive district but violence over petty issues will certainly impact its development in the coming years. The 'inept' handling of the situation by the police coupled with political interference are said to be reasons for DK district to remain on the edge. A retired officer of the rank of Inspector General of Police who served in the undivided DK district including Udupi, told DC that lack of good police officers is the main cause of unrest in coastal districts. Previously, senior officers used to enjoy a good rapport with local populace who shared vital information with the department and that helped nip nefarious activities in the bud. Of late, the public-police relationship has taken the backseat as senior cops prefer to
remain confined in their closed chambers.
The officer said DK was peculiar as communal clashes occur over small issues. When several cities across the state witnessed violence after the demolition of Babri Masjid, DK remained peaceful by and large. Clashes occur here mainly on local issues which could be sorted out amicably. Miscreants of any religion must be dealt with an iron hand without considering their political connections. This needs to be done during 'peacetime' to create a scare among anti-social elements....