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Uma Bharti case hurts Hubli's image
K Raghu in Hubli | September 04, 2004 13:48 IST
The revival of the 10-year-old Uma Bharti case may have brought Hubli back into national focus, but locals fear it could disrupt peace and affect business in the city, which is positioning itself as the investment gateway for north Karnataka.
The city's engineering and medical colleges are flooded with calls from anxious parents about the safety of their wards. Many students have kept away from classes for the engineering semester, which commenced early this week.
"The last 5-6 years have been peaceful here. With the disputed Idgah Maidan issue back on the national scene, we fear the ongoing politico-legal battle may affect our business. The twin cities of Hubli and Dharwad are losing business worth Rs 30-40 crore daily," Karnataka Chamber of Commerce and Industry president S Kakaranna Manavalli said on Saturday.
"Everyone is worried over what will happen next," he said, adding that truckers hesitate to transport goods to Hubli from other parts of the country.
Six persons died in police firing on August 15, 1994 in the wake of violence and rioting that followed when Sangh Parivar followers, including Bharatiya Janata Party leader Uma Bharti, were prevented from hoisting the national flag at Idgah Maidan.
"The new semester was to commence from September 1, but several parents called us to seek more time for their wards to join the classes in view of the prevailing tense situation. They do not want to send them to Hubli till the issue is resolved," said B V Bhoomaraddi College of Engineering Principal Ashok Shettar.
Incidentally, BVB College was to host campus interviews for IT major Wipro on August 30-31, which over 1,000 students from north Karnataka were to attend. The Bangalore-based software firm, however, put off the interviews citing security concerns.
"We have postponed the interviews but not cancelled them. We hope to conduct them next week once things cool down", a Wipro spokesman confirmed.
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