On Tuesday night, as visuals of a violent mob going on a rampage were beamed across television channels, confusion prevailed over why two police stations- DJ Halli and KG Halli - were at the receiving end. As some channels claimed that scenes of arson, stone pelting being reported were from outside DJ halli, others claimed they were from KG Halli. TNM pieced together the sequence of events of why two police stations faced the ire of a mob exceeding four thousand in number, who were not deterred even by the police personnel in riot gear.
At around 8:30 pm, around 17-20 members of the Muslim community gathered outside Pulikeshi Nagar Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy’s bungalow in Kaval Byrasandra in Northeast Bengaluru. They were protesting against a derogatory post by his nephew on Prophet Muhammed. In a matter of minutes, the crowd started swelling and stone pelting began. Within the hour, close to 200 rioters, armed with stones, sticks and petrol, kerosene cans started damaging the legislator’s residence and also set his under construction house in the adjoining site on fire.
Pictures from DJ Halli police station on Wednesday morning.
Around the same time, another group of people- incuding SDPI members- who had been reportedly offended by the MLA’s nephew’s Facebook post tried to file a police complaint in the DJ Halli Police Station against him. They claimed that the police were dragging their feet on the complaint and did not act swiftly. Angered by this, the group reached out to more of their associates who started gathering outside the DJ Halli police station. The protest against the police quickly turned violent and by 10 pm, almost 1,200 people had started rioting outside the police station. Vehicles parked inside the station were set on fire.
By 11 pm, rumours started spreading that the MLA’s nephew was being protected by the police at the KG Halli police station, 1.4 kilometres away. Over 500 people gathered within minutes, this time, visibly prepared to create large scale violence. The angry mob started attacking police vehicles too and notwithstanding the reinforcement that arrived at the police station, started torching vehicles outside the police station.
Below are pictures from the KG Halli police station on Wednesday morning.
Some of the police personnel present outside the KG Halli police station were chased by the armed mob and they took shelter nearby, even as they waited for reinforcement to arrive.
Several media persons too were injured, some even needing hospitalisation. While some faced the ire of the mob others were attacked by police while filming the riot-like situation. Questions on how the police were caught unaware even as hundreds of rioters were mobilised to protest against a two-week old defamatory post remains unanswered.