MANGALORE: A group of around ten masked assailants who hurled a petrol bomb at the Kannada Prabha newspaper office on KS Rao Road in Bunder police station limits on Tuesday night have damaged the computer, furnitures and window panes of the office. The attack took place at around 9.15 pm. Close on the heels of the incident, the district administration enforced prohibitory orders under Section 144 in the city for two days. Police have also launched a manhunt to nab the assailants.
The attack took the office personnel unawares. If four masked men hurled a petrol bomb and went on rampage inside the office, others stoned the office from outside, breaking the window panes. The staff of the office say the assailants did not utter a word with them during the attack. As most of the staff were in another portion of the office, they escaped unhurt.
It is suspected that the attack might have taken place in the backdrop of the publishing of the translated article of the controversial writer Taslima Nasreen in the Sunday edition of Kannada Prabha. It may be recalled here that the article had triggered violence in Shimoga and Hassan recently.
In the backdrop of the attack, police protection has been provided to all newspaper offices of the city.
District Superintendent of Police Dr A Subrahmanyeshwara Rao visited the office and gathered information from the staff.
The incident is said to have occurred during the change in shift of the policemen on security duty at the office. The personnel on duty at the office during the day had left at around 8 pm while the night duty policeman were supposed to arrive at 9.30 pm. The attack took place in between this time. Police protection had been provided to the Mangalore office of Kannada Prabha after violence erupted in Shimoga and Hassan over the write-up of the controversial writer.
Udupi office attacked : Miscreants have reportedly attacked even the Udupi office of Kannada Prabha late Tuesday night. A constable of the Udupi District Armed Reserve Police who was on security duty was injured in the attack.
The injured has been identified as Mahesh. The office of the Kannada Prabha in Udupi is located at Unity Complex near Gitanjali theatre. Two bike bound assailants lighted a petrol filled bottle and hurled it at the shutter of the closed office injuring Mahesh who was on duty along with Raviraj. Four armed DAR police are presently on guard outside the office.