Gadag: The situation in Laxmeshwar town of Gadag district where an irate mob vandalised a police station and burnt down police vehicles on Sunday when a suspect in an illegal sand transportation case died after his release returned to normality on Monday.
Prohibitory orders were lifted in the town on Monday morning but not before the arrest of 28 persons in connection with five cases of arson.
When a CID team, led by Superintendent of Police Divya Sarah Thomas, reached Laxmeshwar by afternoon, personnel from the Fire and Emergency Services were still cleaning the soot deposited on the roof and walls of the police station. As the ground floor of the station has been vandalised, the first floor of the station has been now been readied temporarily for restarting the functioning of the police station. While Inspector-General of Police (North Range) Ramchandra Rao has been camping in the town along with Superintendents of Police from neighbouring districts, Additional Director-General of Police Alok Mohan paid a visit to take stock of the situation and left after holding a meeting with the officials. As several police records were gutted, the station staff kept the salvaged documents outside for drying under the sun. Also, painters were pressed into service.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ramchandra Rao clarified that the deceased Shivanand Goni was neither taken into custody nor was brought to the police station. He fled from the scene abandoning the sand-laden truck after police gave him a chase. A post-mortem was conducted according to the norms and National Human Rights Commission guidelines, he said.
Sources also revealed that the attack was carried out when only three personnel were on duty.
The manner in which the attack was carried out indicated that it was a planned one and the handiwork of the sand mafia, they said. The fire station is located hardly 500 metres from the police station which was opened eight months ago. “We rushed within minutes. But the mob stopped us, threw stones at us and threatened us.
There were no policemen. So we had to retreat. We came only after additional police force arrived. But, by then the damage was done,” a Fire and Emergency Services personnel told The Hindu.
Superintendent of Police of Gadag Santosh Babu said that they were screening the video clips procured from media houses and given by individuals who had captured the violence on their mobile phones. “We have arrested some of them and a search is on for the rest,” he said.