New Delhi: After clashes between BJP and Congress workers were reported in Bengaluru on Tuesday evening, the police declared the imposition of Section 144 across the city and banned the sale of liquor from 6 pm on Tuesday to 6 am on Thursday. Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) prevents the assembly of five or more people at one spot.
"Today and tomorrow, we are imposing Section 144 across the city. All pubs, wine shops will be closed till July 25. If anyone is found violating these rules, they will be punished," said Bengaluru Police Commissioner Alok Kumar.
The fight between BJP and Congress workers broke out at Race Course Road in the state capital after claims that two Independent MLAs were staying at an apartment on Race Course Road. Workers of both parties gathered outside and an argument broke out between them. The police immediately reached the spot and tried to pacify the crowds.
The violence came even as the Karnataka Assembly was meeting at the Vidhan Soudha in the state capital ahead of an expected trust vote in the House to decide the fate of the Congress-Janata Dal (Secular) coalition government, which has been on tenterhooks after the resignations of 15 MLAs two weeks ago.
One Congress member, Ramalinga Reddy, later retracted from his decision to resign, saying he would support the government.
The two independent MLAs, R Shankar and H Nagesh, had withdrawn their support to the government earlier in July.
Raising slogans like 'Down Down BJP', the Congress workers allegedly tried to storm the apartment.
The police soon reached there. BJP workers, led by corporator Padmanabha Reddy, also dashed to the spot.
The police were seen persuading the activists, who were trying to gain entry into the apartment, to disperse.
"There is every likelihood that there will be protests, demonstrations and rallies, which may lead to clashes between the workers of political parties," police commissioner Kumar said.
Expressing apprehensions that miscreants may disturb the atmosphere under the influence of liquor which may disturb peace and cause disruption in traffic, the police commissioner said there will be no sale of liquor from Tuesday evening to Thursday morning.
"During this period, all the bars, wine shops, pubs and all kind of shops selling liquor will be banned," the order said.
"Similarly, congregation of people, demonstration of weapons, taking out rallies, use of explosives and pelting stones will be prohibited. Taking out effigies will be prohibited," it added.
(With inputs from PTI)