Tension prevailed in Moodbidri following the murder of a Bajrang Dal worker by bike-borne men in Moodbidri on Friday.
Police have identified the deceased as Prashanth Poojary, 26, a resident of Birav in Hosabettu, and a flower merchant by profession. The incident occurred when he was sprinkling water on flowers at his shop at around 7 am. The masked miscreants, who were waiting for him, stabbed him with lethal weapons and fled the spot.
A severely injured Poojary was rushed to a hospital in Mangaluru but he breathed his last on the way. Police said that the two-wheeler, which was used for committing the murder, did not bear a number plate.
As the news began to spread, a large number of people gathered and forced the shopkeepers to down the shutters. A few merchants voluntarily closed their shops. The movement of buses, auto rickshaws and other vehicles was also affected, causing inconvenience to the public and in particular to schoolchildren. When a petrol pump owner refused to close the bunk, members of a pro-Hindu organisation attempted to break the windowpanes. In fact, a mob damaged the camera of a media person who was shooting the incident.
When miscreants pelted stones at a hotel in Vidyagiri, the glass pieces injured a sportsperson who had come to take part in All India-level Inter-University Cross Country Championship for men and women, scheduled to be held at Moodbidri on Sunday. A group of miscreants also pelted stones at a real estate office and damaged windowpanes and furniture. When an enraged group started targeting the shops, owned by minority community members, the police resorted to mild lathicharge to disperse the mob. Siddakatte and surrounding areas in Bantwal taluk also faced the heat of Poojary’s murder. The shops and business establishments were closed. The bandh also affected Poonja, Okkadigoli, Rayee, Koila, Kudkoli, Vamadapadavu and other areas. The bus services between Bantwal-Moodbidri remained suspended throughout the day and caused inconvenience to the daily passengers.