Most schools, colleges and shops shut; buses and private vehicles stay off the road
Supporters of Ramesh Jarkiholi enforced an undeclared bandh in Gokak, the former Minister and BJP leader’s hometown, on Friday in the light of allegations against him and the “insult” he faced due to telecasting of a controversial clip showing him with a woman.
Buses did not ply, private autorickshaws and taxis did not operate, and there were no two-wheelers or private vehicles on the road either. Most schools, colleges and shops were closed down. Some students who came from villages and distant localities in the town faced inconvenience to go back home after schools and colleges were suddenly closed.
At one of the protests, Gajanan Rajaput, a supporter of Mr. Jarkiholi, suffered injuries when he tried to jump over the burning tyres. The police pulled him out of the fire and rushed him to a hospital where he is recovering.
Superintendent of Police Lakshman Nimbargi rushed a team of over 200 police constables to Gokak to manage the law and order situation. A team of officers has been monitoring the protests.
Mr. Jarkiholi’s supporters blocked the Jatt-Jamboti, Arabavi-Challakere, and Badami-Hattargi State highways that pass through the town. Protesters walked from various villages to Gokak shouting slogans.
Meanwhile, some of his followers led by Bhimshi Bharamannanavar held a media conference in Gokak, urging protesters to remain calm. “Our leader has told us to appeal to his supporters to protest peacefully,” he said.
Satish Jarkiholi, KPCC working president and younger brother of Ramesh Jarkiholi, welcomed Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi’s decision to resign from the Cabinet and demanded that it was now the job of the police to investigate all angles of the alleged scandal. The police should verify if it is a case of sexual harassment of the woman or a political conspiracy, he said.
Lakhan Jarkiholi, Congress leader and younger brother of Mr. Ramesh Jarkiholi, said it was a conspiracy to malign his brother and expressed confidence that he would emerge victorious.
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