BENGALURU: Three persons were killed in police firing when mobs ran riot over an alleged inflammatory social media post in east Bengaluru late on
More than 70 police personnel were injured as agitators pelted them with stones and set fire to vehicles, including those parked at two police stations, in KG Halli, DJ Halli and
. As many as 35 civilians were injured.
A magisterial probe has been ordered.
The protests were sparked by a Facebook post by local Congress MLA Akhanda Srinivasamurthy’s nephew tnnNaveen. Police said the 35-year-old, who runs a real estate business, had ruffled feathers a few days ago with a post on the bhumi pujan in Ayodhya.
Police said a feeling of insecurity was building in the
and on Tuesday, Naveen posted a religious slur against them. Police commissioner Kamal Pant confirmed that Naveen has been arrested.
Though Naveen deleted his post and claimed his account had been hacked, community leaders, including local
Social Democratic Party of India
(SDPI) activists, on Tuesday sought police action against him. Police claimed a piece of false news that cops refused to take action is believed to have triggered the violence.
The mayhem ended in the early hours of Wednesday, after reinforcements were rushed to the troubled localities and police burst teargas shells and resorted to lathicharge at several places.
Curfew was imposed in areas under KG Halli, DJ Halli, Bharathinagar, Pulikeshinagar and Banaswadi police stations till the midnight of August 14. Prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC have been clamped on the entire Bengaluru city till Thursday morning.
As many as 145 men, including Muzammil Pasha, a leader of the SDPI state unit, have been arrested in connection with the violence in which 17 vehicles were torched and 73 damaged.
Two of the dead have been identified as Yasin Pasha, 28, and Wazid Ahmed, 25, of KG Halli. Pasha assisted his father in their mutton stall while Ahmed did odd jobs. One of the dead has tested Covid-positive, sources said.
The protests began around 7pm on Tuesday, with a group of people -- angered by Naveen’s post -- gathering at the Pulikeshinagar MLA’s house in Kavalbyrasandra.
Another group approached KG Halli police station with a complaint against the FB post. Soon, the protest took a violent turn, with mobs vandalising the MLA’s house and that of his nephew. A bid to torch Naveen’s house was foiled as a fire tender arrived in time.
While police sought time to look into the complaint, mobs attacked KG Halli and DJ Halli police stations. Vehicles parked close by were torched and turned into barricades to prevent reinforcements from rushing in. After bursting of tear-gas shells and lathicharge failed to disperse the mobs, police opened fire.
Police were tightlipped about the number of places at which it opened fire but sources in the force said 20 rounds were fired.
On Wednesday, paramilitary forces of Karnataka State Reserve Police carried out a flag march in the lanes of DJ Halli and KG Halli from morning to night.