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July 31, 2000
Tamils get jittery, Sonia calls on Krishna
Fakir Chand in Bangalore
Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Monday called on Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna to get an overall account of the kidnap episode even as lakhs of Tamils living in Bangalore feared a repeat of 1991 when mobs took to the streets indulging in arson against them.
Agitated groups on Monday attacked the offices of Tamil newspapers and burnt their dailies at news stands spawning the city. Police protection has been provided to these Tamil-based dailies. "The mobs took out piles of paper and burnt them protest against the kidnapping of Dr Rajakumar," said aides of state Home Minister Mallikharjun Kharge.
Police forces have been deployed outside the Tamil Sangham office in the suburb of Ulsoor, a pre-dominantly Tamil area.
In the worst-ever riots in Bangalore nearly a decade ago, Tamils were targeted by mobs protesting against the Cauvery Tribunal Award, which favoured Tamil Nadu in the century-old water dispute between the two neighbouring states.
The chief minister's secretariat said Sonia Gandhi spoke to Krishna and expressed concern over the kidnap of Dr Rajakumar, a living legend in the countryside of Karnataka. She also wanted the government to maintain peace, as the issue was very emotive. Sonia also had a word with Parvathamma, wife of Dr Rajakumar.
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