After an alleged 'lock up' death, an enraged mob attacked and set ablaze the Lakshmeshwara Police Station, in Gadag district, on 5 February. 

The deceased, who had been in police custody, was a truck driver named Shivappa Dundappa Bhadrapura (23), had been arrested for allegedly transporting sand illegally. 

Police sources claim that Shivappa had not been arrested by the police at all. However, in reaction to the riot, the department has suspended PSI S Dayanand and Constable Ashok Pujar. K Ramachandra Rao, IGP of North Zone, has handed over the case to CID for further investigation.

Police sources say that Shivappa, a resident of Batturu village, was carrying sand illegally in his truck to Hubballi late in the night on Saturday, February 4. Lakshmeshwara police stopped him near Samshi, Dharwad district and canned him severely.

Sources who spoke to the media after the incident said that Shivappa sustained severe injuries due to the assault and was taken to the hospital by his family. But the doctors declared him dead when he was admitted. 

After this, an enraged mob came to the police station, kept the dead body in front of the station's gates and protested. The protesters turned violent after a while and began to pelt stones on the station. 

Soon the small mob grew into a crowd of thousands. Fearing the size of the crowd, the cops abandoned the station. Later the mob entered the station and torched it and a few vehicles outside of it.

“We have asked for a judicial enquiry as this is a case of unnatural death. Some miscreants who are involved in the illegal mining of sand are also trying to make this case big. Hence, we'll investigate this after considering all the possible perspectives", Deputy Commissioner Manoj Jain told the media. 

District Commissioner K Santhosh Babu, SP of Gadag district and AD Amaravadagi, Tahasildar of the district, visited the spot and brought the law and order situation back under control.