Three people killed and around 60 police personnel have been injured after violent clashes broke out in the eastern part of Bengalurus on Tuesday night over a Facebook message posted allegedly by a relative of a Congress MLA.
Angry mobs went on a rampage in the Kaval Byrasandra area in Bengaluru to protest against the Facebook post, allegedly put up by P Naveen, nephew of the Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, reports The Print.
The incident took place at Kaval Byrasandra in Bengaluru, where a mob of about 1,000 people reportedly attacked the Congress MLA's house on Tuesday night, reports The Wire, damaging the vehicles parked outside the residence.
Rioting, violence in KG Halli, DJ Hallli over derogatory FB post by the nephew of a Cong MLA.. Nephew says his account has been hacked, MLA appeals for calm.. pic.twitter.com/S5Ge80TwUI
" Deepa Balakrishnan (@deepab18) August 11, 2020
The crowd then went on to attacked two police stations " KG Halli and DJ Halli " pelting stones at the police and even tried to burn them down, according to the New Indian Express, demanding that Naveen be arrested.
However, Naveen has refuted the allegations against him. According to The News Minute, he has claimed that his Facebook account was hacked.
The police teams that tried to contain the violence also bore the brunt of the mob as their vehicles were damaged, eye-witnesses said.
DJ Halli Police Station in Bengaluru vandalised last night, as violence broke out in the city over an alleged inciting social media post.
Sec 144 CrPC imposed in Bangaluru city,curfew in DJ Halli & KG Halli police station limits. 2 died, 110 arrested, 60 Police personnel injured pic.twitter.com/CO1ZdIzLbx
- ANI (@ANI) August 12, 2020
The riot-like situation within KG Halli and DJ Halli police station limits, which began around 8.30 pm on Tuesday, was contained around 1 am on Wednesday, according to The News Minute.
The website also reported that journalists from Kannada news channel Suvarna News were also allegedly attacked by the mob. Reporters' cameras were smashed and two staffers were injured, and are currently receiving treatment.
An India Today reporter has said his team was attacked by the police even after they said they were journalists. There was no mob present where they were, he said. The News Minute has said one of their reporters was also attacked by the police.
@CPBlr your police hit my head with a pole even though we kept yelling we are reporters. @prajwalmanipal was hit on the back. We had to run from your police to save ourselves when there was no mob present!!
" Nolan Pinto (@nolanentreeo) August 11, 2020
Around 60 police personnel were injured, more than 25 vehicles and 200 bikes torched, The News Minute reported.
Police have imposed Section 144 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) in Bengaluru to prohibit the assembly of four or more persons in an area while curfew has been imposed in DJ Halli and KG Halli police station limits. Curfew has also been imposed within the Banaswadi police sub-division.
The police commissioner on Wednesday said that the accused has been arrested for posting derogatory posts and 110 people have been arrested for arson, stone-pelting, and assault on police.
With regard to incidents in DJ Halli, accused Naveen arrested for posting derogatory posts.. also total 110 accused arrested for arson, stone pelting and assault on police. APPEAL TO ALL TO COOPERATE WITH POLICE TO MAINTAIN PEACE.
" Kamal Pant, IPS (@CPBlr) August 11, 2020
Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said riots and arson are against law and warned the rioters that he has given police a free hand to contain the violence. "Issue will be probed but vandalism is not the solution. Additional forces have been deployed. Action will be taken against miscreants," the state home minister said.
Later, MLA Murthy appealed to the community members to not resort to violence.
"I am appealing to my Muslim brethren that we should not resort to violence for the fault committed by some miscreants. There is no need to fight. We all are brothers. We will get the person punished as per law. We will also be with you. I appeal to the Muslim friends to be calm," he said in a video message.
Several Muslim leaders also released videos appealing for peace.
Congress MLA and former minister BZ Zameer Ahmed Khan said the violence was unfortunate.
"I am hopeful that police will take action against all those who are responsible for this. I also request everyone to stay calm and maintain peace in the area," Khan tweeted.
The incident that is happening in Kaval Byrsandra is unfortunate. I am hopeful that police will take action against all those who are responsible for this.
I also request everyone to stay calm and maintain peace in the area.
" B Z Zameer Ahmed Khan (@BZZameerAhmedK) August 11, 2020
Mufti PM Muzammil Sab of Jamiat Ulema I Hind appeals for peace after violence erupted over a controversial SM post pic.twitter.com/FqVf7Xu8bx
" Soumya Chatterjee (@Csoumya21) August 11, 2020
.@INCIndia @INCKarnataka#Bangalore #Shivajinagar mla @ArshadRizwan appeals for peace. He was at the ground along with mla @BZZameerAhmedK pacifying the mob. They also came under attack from the mob. Zameer Ahmed was even injured. pic.twitter.com/z2PXqqTUqg
" Imran Khan (@keypadguerilla) August 11, 2020
Soon after the incident, the Bengaluru police commissioner rushed to the spot but his intervention too did not stop the rioters.
Later, the Bengaluru Police tweeted that it had to lathi-charged the mob, lob tear gas and finally open fire to control them. "Without choice, we were forced to fire in the air. At least 60 cops are injured," the city's police commissioner told the Times of India.
The police said the culprits of Tuesday's violence and arson will not be spared.
Meanwhile, while clashes were getting violent out in the eastern part of Bengaluru, a video showing a group of Muslim youths standing in solidarity to protect a Hindu temple from being damaged during the violence is doing rounds on social media
The video shows tens of young Muslim protestors forming a human chain outside a temple, a nearby neighborhood from where the violence occurred, according to reports.
Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted out the video, saying: "Those who incited and perpetrated the Bangalore riots must be found, arrested & given exemplary punishment. But they are not to be equated with an entire community any more than thugs and vigilantes represent all Hindus. This also happened in Bangalore:"
Those who incited and perpetrated the #bangaloreriots must be found, arrested & given exemplary punishment. But they are not to be equated with an entire community any more than thugs & vigilantes represent all Hindus. This also happened in Bangalore: https://t.co/TCrfo6kU7k
" Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) August 12, 2020
With inputs from agencies