Updated: August 13, 2020 8:13:25 am
Hours after three people were left dead and over 50 injured following violence in certain localities in East Bengaluru, allegedly triggered by a “derogatory” social media post uploaded by a local Congress legislator’s relative, the Karnataka government has ordered a magisterial inquiry to look into the incident. Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said the police had to resort to firing as the last resort and the situation was now fully under control.
“The District Executive Magistrate will carry out a thorough investigation into the violence that took place within the limits of Devarajeevanahalli (DJ Halli) and Kadugodanahalli (KG Halli) police stations in Bengaluru,” Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa said after a high-level meeting held on Wednesday.
After the meeting, Bommai said the investigation will be held as per the National Human Rights Commission guidelines and damage to property will be recovered from the perpetrators identified by the police. “This will be done as per the Supreme Court directions in place,” he clarified.
Several leaders including Bangalore South MP Tejasvi Surya, Revenue Minister R Ashok and Tourism Minister C T Ravi had earlier urged CM Yediyurappa to ensure miscreants are identified and are made to pay for the losses inflicted on the property at the two police stations and the neighbourhood.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru City Police identified at least 145 people linked to the arson, stone-pelting, and violent clashes against the police that took place at Congress’ Pulkeshi Nagar MLA Akhanda Srinivas Murthy’s residence and later in and around the premises of DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations. Confirming this, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Bengaluru Sandeep Patil said, “As many as 145 people have been arrested as on Wednesday afternoon in connection with violence in Bengaluru over an alleged inciting social media post.” He added that a detailed investigation and the process to identify the others are still underway.
Among those detained was Social Democratic Party of India leader Muzamil Pasha, the police confirmed. “However, we are yet to ascertain the exact degree of his involvement in the issue,” a senior police official said.
Meanwhile, a teary-eyed Murthy met reporters in Bengaluru alleging that over 3,000 people were involved in the attack on his house in Kaval Bysandra Tuesday night. “They were armed with sharp weapons, sticks, rods, and petrol bombs. They stole all valuables, and then set fire to the entire house, where I was born and raised. It appears that the miscreants’ aim was to kill me,” he said appealing to the state government to punish the perpetrators.
Further, clarifying his relationship with P Naveen — the accused held by the police for posting a “derogatory” post allegedly offensive to Islam and its beliefs — Murthy said: “Naveen is my nephew but I have no contact with him for over ten years now.”
During the day, Bengaluru City Police Commissioner Kamal Pant had confirmed the arrest of the accused. Meanwhile a curfew was imposed in Banaswadi Police Sub-Division and restrictions under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure claimed in the city till 6 am Thursday.
The Home Minister said the situation is under control now. “Six more CRPF platoons from Hyderabad and Chennai are in Bengaluru to enhance security in the city. Rapid action force, and Garuda Commandoes have also been deployed in the areas,” he said.
At the same time, the opposition parties Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) termed the incident “a planned conspiracy”. After a meeting held with all Congress legislators of Bengaluru and local leaders at the party headquarters in Queen’s Road, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee President D K Shivakumar said, “Our MLAs tried to control it (the violence caused by the mob), but they couldn’t. From what I have seen in the media, this looks like a planned conspiracy,” he said.
Taking to Twitter, Shivakumar said the party has “setup a Congress Fact Finding committee to visit the areas that saw violence in Bengaluru.” “(The party) unequivocally condemns the violence that happened. Also, no one has the right to hurt religious sentiments. For us, peace and harmony in Bengaluru is of utmost importance,” he said.
Have setup a Congress Fact Finding committee to visit the areas that saw violence in Bengaluru.@INCKarnataka unequivocally condemns the violence that happened. Also, no one has the right to hurt religious sentiments. For us, peace & harmony in Bengaluru is of utmost importance.
— DK Shivakumar (@DKShivakumar) August 12, 2020
Former Karnataka CM and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy termed the attack on the police and mediapersons “highly deplorable.” He added, “These vandals don’t even have remorse on what kind of message they are sending to civil society through their heinous act. Such incidents indicate that this is a pre-planned attack.”
Murthy, the Pulkeshi Nagar legislator, had moved to the Congress from the JD(S) ahead of the 2018 Assembly elections.
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