Hubballi: PFI activists arrested for bid to hold meet

Hubballi: The police on Saturday detained 15 office-bearers of the Popular Front of India (PFI) for trying to hold a convention in Davangere, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to address a mega farmers’ rally on February 27 to mark the birthday of state BJP chief, B S Yeddyurappa.

The organisation, which has been targeted  by the BJP following the recent murders of Hindu activists on the coast, was in the process of mobilising thousands of activists for the convention by launching awareness campaigns in all educational institutions belonging to the community and in localities that are Muslim strongholds. 

But with  a nine-day special fair beginning in Davangere from February 23 when over 50,000 sheep, goats and buffaloes will be sacrificed by devotees of goddess Durgambika, the police didn’t think it prudent to allow the PFI convention around the same time.  And with the Prime Minister too expected shortly in the distict, they gave it the thumbs down.   

But PFI office-bearers from across the state tried to take out a procession in Davangere on Saturday in defiance of the district police, who promptly imposed prohibitory orders in the city under section 144 of the CrPC as a  precaution.  The arrested activists included Dakshina Kannada and Chikkamangaluru district presidents of the PFI.

“All office-bearers of the PFI have been sent to judicial custody. As many as 282 activists, who had converged on Davangere, were turned back as we suspected that some elements were trying to disrupt the peace in the city,” said Superintendant of Police, Bhimashankar Guled. 

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