At least three people were killed and around 60 police personnel including an Additional Commissioner of Police injured after violent protests broke out in eastern Bengaluru late Tuesday night over a “derogatory message” posted by a politician’s relative on social media.
A mob gathered outside Congress MLA Akanda Srinivas Murthy’s residence in Bengaluru where they shouted slogans against the social media post put out by his nephew and also resorted to arson.
The mob was demanding the arrest of Naveen, who is related to Murthy and rioted in DJ Halli, KG Halli and Pulakeshi Nagar.
Murthy, the legislator from Pulikeshi Nagar, posted a video on social media asking the mob to stop the agitation.
“Please don’t resort to violence over the mischievous work of some miscreants,” appealed Murthy.
A large mob was also seen opposite KG Halli police station in the city.
Another mob barged into the DJ Halli police station and torched some vehicles and vandalised furniture, proceeding to attack a few policemen.
Hundreds of rioters raised slogans at the top of their voice and continuously banged the gate of DJ Halli police station.
Photographs showing the vandalism outside the DJ Halli police station went viral.
The mob chanted religious slogans even as some members from the same community tried to calm down the mob.
Meanwhile, to control and disperse the mob, policemen in riot gear were deployed and baton-charged protesters who resorted to arson and also overturned the police vehicle.
As many as 110 people have been arrested in connection with the violence that broke out in the city over the inciting social media post, informed Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Bengaluru.
Meanwhile, the accused, Naveen, has been arrested for sharing derogatory posts on social media.
Earlier on Tuesday, members of Sadbhavna Youth Social Welfare Association and people linked to Bilal and other mosques had lodged a complaint at DJ Halli Police Station in Bengaluru against MLA Srinivas Murthy’s nephew Naveen.
In the wake of the violence, Section 144 has been imposed in entire Bangalore city. A curfew has been imposed in DJ Halli and KG Halli police station limits.
City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant visited the riot-hit areas where a heavy police presence has been deployed, an official said on Wednesday.
“Unfortunate incidents have occurred in localities like DJ Halli and KG Halli. Police carried out a baton charge to bring the situation under control,” said a police official adding strict action will be taken against guilty.
State home minister Basavaraj Bommai has also warned of strict action against those who take law into their hands.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, taking strong note of the incident, informed that directives have been issued against perpetrators and the government has taken all possible steps to curb the situation. He further termed attack on journalists, police and public as “unacceptable” and added that the state government will not tolerate such provocations and rumours. “Strict action against perpetrators is certain,” Yediyurappa asserted.
Amidst the riots, police mistook a couple of journalists as rioters and hit them with a pole.
Another journalist who went to cover the riot was hit in the back. the scribe said that he and others had come to see what was actually happening at the ground zero but were attacked by the police without any provocation even though there was no mob around.