Bengaluru: 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 legislator Akanda Srinivas Murthy’s house where they shouted slogans against the post 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.
‘Mat karo’, said one of the persons who tried to calm down the mob as many mask-wearing protesters came out into the streets.
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.
Chamarajpet MLA B. Z. Zameer Ahmed Khan also requested the rioters to stay calm and maintain peace in the area.
“The incident that is happening in Kaval Bysandra is unfortunate. I am hopeful that police will take action against all those who are responsible for this,” said Khan.
City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant visited the riot-hit areas where a heavy police presence has been deployed, an official said 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.
More than an hour ago, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind leader Mufti PM Muzzamil also sent out a video message from outside the DJ Halli police station, flashing a paper in his hand.
He said an FIR was lodged against the person who made the derogatory post and assured the protesters that he will be arrested.
Muzzamil appealed the rioters to keep their emotions in control.
Meanwhile, police mistook a couple of journalists as rioters and hit them with a pole.
“Your police hit my head with a pole even though we kept yelling we are reporters,” complained a television journalist to the police commissioner.
Another journalist who went to cover the riot was hit in the back.
“We had to run from your police to save ourselves when there was a no mob present,” said the injured journalist whose head was seen bleeding.
The journalist said that he and others came to see what is actually happening at the ground zero but were attacked by the police without any provocation even though there was no mob around.