Bengaluru violence: 3 dead, over 100 arrested after arson, stone-pelting

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At least three people died and 60 police personnel were injured after violence broke out in the eastern part of Karnataka’s Bengaluru on Tuesday night over a social media message, which was allegedly posted by a relative of a Congress legislator.

Bengaluru Police have arrested 149 people for arson, stone-pelting and assault on the police, officials said. Congress’ member of legislative assembly (MLA) Srinivas Murthy’s nephew was also arrested for sharing the “derogatory” post on Facebook.

Chief minister BS Yediyurappa tweeted to condemn the violence and that he has already ordered action against those taking the law into their hands. Yediyurappa said those who attacked the police, media and the public will not be spared and strict action will be taken. He also appealed for calm.

Here is what we know so far:

• The violence broke out in Pulakeshi Nagar of the state capital of Karnataka after protesters vandalised a police station and Congress leader Murthy’s house. They hurled bottles and stones at the legislator’s house and the policemen, officials said.

• Murthy’s house was attacked by people for an alleged controversial post on Facebook regarding a religious figure by his nephew.

• The protesters also damaged some of the vehicles parked near the MLA’s hosue.

• People familiar with the development said the man arrested for posting the content has denied his role, saying his social media account was hacked.

• “DG Halli and KG Halli saw violent incidents. To bring this under control, police used lathi charge, tear gas and firing. Police Commissioner went to the spot. Police bandobast is in place. Strict action will be taken against those offenders,” Bengaluru Police tweeted.

• Murthy appealed to the protesters to not resort to violence in a video message. “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,” he said.

• Bengaluru Police commissioner Kamal Pant also tweeted to appeal for peace.

• Curfew was imposed in DJ Halli and KG Halli police station limits after violence broke out in the area.

• 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.

• Basavaraj Bommai, Karnataka’s home minister, also said nobody will be allowed to take the law into their own hands. He added that additional police forces have been deployed to maintain law and order.

• Additional police forces are being rushed and leaves of all personnel have been cancelled to ensure adequate security on the ground across the city, according to people familiar with the development.

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