Violent protests broke out in Bengaluru's Pulakeshi Nagar late on Tuesday, 11th August, over a “derogatory message” posted by a politician's relative on social media.
As per latest reports, at least 3 people died and 60 police personnel were injured in the incident.
The mob alleged that a Facebook post by the MLA R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy's nephew was offensive to Islam and its beliefs.
They went on to vandalise a police station and Congress leader Murthy’s house, hurling bottles and stones.
As police rushed to bring the situation under control, hundreds more gathered and marched to DJ Halli police station, torching vehicles and chanting slogans demanding an FIR and immediate arrest of the MLA's nephew.
#BengaluruViolence: Irked mob continued violent protests for hours, police officials say. Vehicles parked inside DJ Halli police station premises also set on fire, many barged inside and vandalised furniture, attacked cops, they add. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/uWThpChELN— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) August 11, 2020
Following this, Murthy released a video message appealing to people not to resort to violence. He said:
I’m making a request to my Muslim brethren. There is no need to be violent. I will ensure that proper legal action is initiated against the perpetrators. I request you to maintain peace and harmony and I will be with you for this.
#Bengaluru: Pulkeshinagar Congress MLA R Akhanda Srinivas Murthy appeals for peace after an irate mob surrounded his house in Kaval Byrasandra irked by a derogatory post allegedly put up on social media by his relative. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/khmaFj1ews— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) August 11, 2020
As the situation became more violent, Bengaluru Police had to resort to lathi charge. They confirmed it in a statement:
Unfortunate incidents took place within the limits of DJ Halli and KG Halli police stations. The police have resorted to lathi charge, tear gas and bullets to keep the situation under control.
As per latest reports, Bengaluru Police have arrested 149 people for arson, stone-pelting and assault on the police. Murthy's nephew has also been arrested for his offensive Facebook post.
Three people have died. Around 60 policemen injured, they've sustained stone injuries. Police vehicles were damaged & set on fire. A group entered a basement area where 200-250 vehicles were set on fire. Investigation on: Kamal Pant, Bengaluru City Police Commissioner pic.twitter.com/JrPUGsJDN7— ANI (@ANI) August 12, 2020
Karnataka: DJ Halli Police Station in Bengaluru city vandalised last night, as violence broke out over an alleged inciting social media post.— ANI (@ANI) August 12, 2020
Sec 144 imposed in city, curfew in DJ Halli & KG Halli police station limits. At least 2 dead, 110 arrested, 60 Police personnel injured. pic.twitter.com/FVgUIanWgd
In a tweet, Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa also said the violence was unacceptable, and assured that the perpetrators would be booked.
ಡಿ.ಜಿ ಹಳ್ಳಿ ಪೊಲೀಸ್ ಠಾಣಾ ವ್ಯಾಪ್ತಿಯಲ್ಲಿ ಕಿಡಿಗೇಡಿಗಳು ಶಾಸಕ ಅಖಂಡ ಶ್ರೀನಿವಾಸ ಅವರ ಮನೆ ಹಾಗು ಪೋಲೀಸ್ ಠಾಣೆ ಮೇಲೆ ದಾಳಿ, ಗಲಭೆ ನಡೆಸಿರುವುದು ಖಂಡನೀಯ. ಈಗಾಗಲೇ ದುಷ್ಕರ್ಮಿಗಳ ವಿರುದ್ದ ನಿರ್ದಾಕ್ಷಿಣ್ಯ ಕ್ರಮ ಕೈಗೊಳ್ಳುವಂತೆ ನಿರ್ದೇಶನ ನೀಡಲಾಗಿದ್ದು ಸರ್ಕಾರ ದಾಂಧಲೆ ಹತ್ತಿಕ್ಕಲು ಎಲ್ಲ ರೀತಿಯ ಕ್ರಮ ಕೈಗೊಂಡಿದೆ. (1/2)— B.S. Yediyurappa (@BSYBJP) August 12, 2020
Section 144 of the CrPC, which prohibits the assembly of more than five people, has now been imposed across the city.