Tension prevailed for a while in Hubballi on Thursday evening following a snap protest by members of the Popular Front of India (PFI) and others condemning the NIA raids on the offices of PFI and arrest of its office-bearers across the country, which ultimately ended in a mild lathi-charge and detention of several protestors.
Trouble started after members of the PFI and others resorted to a snap roadblock in protest against the NIA raids and alleging that the organisation is being targeted for political reasons by the BJP government. The protestors blocked the busy KC Circle-Bankapur Chowk Road near Koulpet resulting in vehicular movement coming to a standstill.
Initially, the police tried to make way for vehicles by asking protestors to move a bit aside. However, when the protestors did not budge and vehicles started piling up on the busy road, they had to use force to clear the road.
Rushing to the spot, Police Commissioner Labhu Ram ordered for immediate clearance of the road and the police officials and personnel on duty lathi-charged the protestors to disperse the crowd and clear the road.
As the police started taking the protestors into custody, they started resisting and tried to pull away. In the melee, Deputy Commissioner of Police Sahil Bagla also fell down. Subsequently, the police caught hold of several protestors and took them away from the spot in a private vehicle.
Following a mild lathicharge and detention, the protestors ran helter-skelter leaving behind their footwear. It took several minutes for the police to clear traffic as vehicles had piled up along the busy stretch.
Meanwhile, additional forces have been deployed around Koulpet and other sensitive places in Hubballi with senior police officials monitoring the situation closely.