3 Dead, Over 100 Held as ‘Derogatory’ Post Fuels Unrest in B’luru

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Three people were killed after the police opened fire at a violent mob in East Bengaluru’s KG Halli on Tuesday, 11 August. Police resorted to firing after the mob went on a rampage, attacking a police station and an MLA’s house.

According to reports, around 60 police personnel were injured in the violence late on Tuesday.

The violence began on Tuesday night in KG Halli, DJ Halli and Pulakeshi Nagar areas, after a Facebook post by a relative of Congress legislator Akhanda Srinivas Murthy, reportedly insulting Prophet Mohammed, created outrage.

The accused relative, Naveen, has been arrested for allegedly sharing derogatory posts on social media, Bengaluru Police Commissioner Kamal Pant said. Meanwhile, 110 people have been held in connection with arson, stone pelting and assault on police.

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‘Unacceptable’ "“Around 60 police personnel, including an Additional Commissioner of Police, (were) injured in clashes that broke out over an allegedly provoking social media post, in DJ Halli and KG Halli police station areas of Bengaluru.”" - Police Commissioner Kamal Pant, as quoted by ANI

Reacting to the incident, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said that directives have been issued against the perpetrators and the government has taken all possible measures to bring the situation under control.

"The attack on journalists, police and public is unacceptable. The government won't tolerate such provocations and rumours. Strict action against perpetrators will be taken," he said in a tweet.

Restrictions under Section 144 of CrPC have been imposed in Bengaluru, with curfew imposed in the DJ Halli and KG Halli police station limits, ANI further reported.

What Happened?

According to police, a large mob gathered in front of the KG Halli police station demanding the arrest of the MLA’s relative, Naveen. As police were talking to the complainants, around 8.30 pm, another mob of around 200 people gathered at the MLA’s house. They began pelting stones and setting vehicles on fire, police said. The MLA was not at home during the attack.

Soon after, the mob gathered outside KG Halli police station began pelting stones at the police station and even damaged DCP (East) Bhimashankar Guled’s official car.

Police reinforcement led by commissioner Kamal Pant soon arrived on location. As the situation was going out of control, police opened fire.

The MLA’s relative reportedly claimed that his Facebook account was hacked and it was not he who actually posted the offensive message.

Appeals for Peace

Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai released a video with an appeal for peace. “Whatever the issue is, we will investigate it, but vandalism is not the solution. We have deployed additional forces. I have given cops a free hand to handle the situation. However powerful the guilty are, we will take action. But people mustn't take the law into their hands."

Meanwhile, the MLA has sent out a video message appealing for calm. "I request our Muslim friends, for the mistake of some miscreants, let's not fight. Whatever the fight, we're brothers. Whoever has made a mistake, let's teach them a lesson through legal means. We will also stand with you. Whoever has made the mistake, we will take steps to teach them a lesson. I request our Muslim kin to please remain peaceful. I will also stand with you,” he said.

(With inputs from ANI and The News Minute)

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