The Karnataka Police on Monday banned the gathering of four or more persons in Shivamogga for three days after Hindus and Muslims clashed over a poster of Hindutva ideologue Vinayak Damodar Savarkar being placed in Ameer Ahmed Circle in the district, The News Minute reported.
Some Muslim men allegedly attempted to replace it with a picture of 18th-century Mysore ruler Tipu Sultan, prompting a protest from Hindus, The New Indian Express reported.
They dispersed after the police resorted to baton-charge.
The incident came two days after another altercation took place between two groups as Savarkar’s poster was removed from the gallery of freedom fighters in a mall in Shivamogga.
A case was filed under Section 341 (wrong restraint) and 504 (causing intentional insult) of the Indian Penal Code by the Shivamogga Police, according to The Indian Express. The police said that a Social Democratic Party of India activist had objected to Savarkar’s poster and demanded that those of Muslim freedom fighters be installed.
In retaliation, Bharatiya Janata Party workers had protested in Bengaluru on August 13 evening by tearing up a poster of Tipu Sultan put up by the Karnataka Congress ahead of Independence Day at the Hudson Circle.
The next day, the Bengaluru Police lodged a complaint under the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1971, and Section 295A (outraging religious feelings) of the Indian Penal Code for the alleged vandalism of the Mysore ruler’s poster.
Three members of a Hindutva group and a Social Democratic Party of India activist were arrested in connection with the two police complaints.